Over The Counter Vs Prescription Drugs: 4 Key Differences
Two major categories of medications are available at your local pharmacy: over the counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. Over the counter vs prescription drugs, four areas to compare:
Compare Prescription Medicines to OTC Medicines
Unlike prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs do not require a prescription. They can be purchased off the shelf since this is usually because OTC drugs have generally milder side effects and can be used to treat symptoms. Prescription drugs are more specific, could have serious side effects, and can only be dispensed with a doctor’s recommendation.
Regulations About Prescription And Over The Counter Drugs
OTC drugs are sold off the shelf and are available to the general public and are not restricted to sale in pharmacies. They can be found at convenience stores and local grocery stores, making them much easier to access. On the other hand, prescription drugs can be dispensed by local and online pharmacies that the appropriate licensing boards have licensed.
Difference Between OTC and Prescription Drugs Usage
OTC and prescription drugs are highly specific, as they are prescribed after a consultation with a doctor. When receiving a prescription medication, the pharmacist will give you all the information on the time and quantity you need to take your dose. OTC medications present this information on labels and use weight or age ranges to recommend dosage. Generally, OTC medications are available to everybody, whereas prescription medication is specific to that individual patient.
Diagnosis Difference Between Prescription and Over the Counter
OTC medications generally rely on self-diagnosis. If you are experiencing mild symptoms such as simple fever, pain, or heartburn, drugs available over the counter may provide relief. For example, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help with your regular headaches. You should see a healthcare professional if the symptom is new, severe, or worrying.