Over-the-Counter Medication: Understanding the Pros and Cons

What is Over the Counter Medication?


Over the counter medications are the medicines that can be purchased without a prescription of your doctor or healthcare provider. OTC medications are frequently used for a variety of minor health issues and are successful in treating symptoms like aches, pains, itches, diarrhea, cold and fever, coughing, and many more. 




They are also referred to as non-prescription medicine. Every day, millions of individuals use over the counter drugs to treat a variety of minor health issues. The government of Canada has disclosed the  non-prescription drugs that the consumers can purchase  including the medications as Antiseptic Skin Cleansers, Acne Therapy Products, Throat Lozenges, Athlete’s Foot Treatments, Diaper Rash Products and more.



Most OTC medications are safe, and there is no denying the convenience that the large range of OTC products offers. But we frequently overlook the risks to our health or the negative effects they could have and if you have specific health conditions, some OTC products might not be right for you. 


Understanding the Benefits of OTC medicines



1.  Encouraging people to take responsibility for their own health by avoiding or treating minor symptoms or diseases. Over the counter medications improve the person’s capacity to take care of their own health without  seeking professional medical help for minor symptoms or disorders.

2. OTC medications are simple to obtain and practical. OTC medications can be bought without a prescription from a medical expert, making them accessible in pharmacies, supermarkets, and convenience stores. It is simpler for people to get the medication they need because of this convenience and accessibility.

3. Reduces the financial burden because test reports and expert consultation are not required. People can save money by avoiding the need for expert consultations and laboratory testing and additional expenses. OTC medications offer a more cost-effective solution for treating minor symptoms or diseases.

4. OTC medications are typically chosen to provide immediate relief. They are frequently designed to offer prompt relief from typical symptoms like pain, fever, coughing, or allergies. They are made to be successful in delivering short term comfort without a prescription or expert advice.

5. OTC medications make healthcare more accessible by enabling people to buy medication without seeing a doctor. For those who live in rural locations or may have limited access to medical care, this can be extremely helpful.


Understanding the Risks of OTC medicines


1.  Taking medication without the correct direction from a healthcare professional can have adverse reactions and even worsen the health condition or cause serious issues. Drugs prescribed without the proper consultation from the healthcare professional could further result in dangerous implications

2. When improper medications are used, one’s health situation can worsen more than before. Inappropriate or inaccurate medication may cause negative symptoms or fail to treat the underlying cause while worsening rather than helping the patient’s health.

3. Taking too much medication can have serious side effects, such as coma, permanent disabilities, and worst circumstances even death.

4. Adverse responses, side effects, or even the appearance of new health problems can result from improper medication or using them for the wrong illness or at the wrong dosage.

5. Antibiotic  overuse can contribute as a  severe threat to public health by making illnesses more difficult to treat in the future.



How to use OTC medications safely?


  • Before taking OTC medication you can discuss with your doctor or pharmacist about its advantages and disadvantages if you are unclear what to use for your symptoms. You can use this to make an educated choice about your health.
  • Follow the instructions given on the product labels and read them carefully. Take the medication exactly as prescribed.
  • To measure the dose, use the measurement tool  such as the oral syringe that is included with liquid medicine. Never measure a liquid medication dose with a regular spoon because it could lead to incorrect dosages.
  • If you’ve already experienced an allergic reaction to an OTC drug, avoid taking it and meet your doctor for further treatments. 
  • Call your doctor and be advised before using any over-the-counter medication if you are  pregnant.



At Calgary Drug Mart we prioritize your well-being by providing a wide range of OTC products that can aid your discomforts.



Our knowledgeable staff and exceptional service ensure a trustworthy and reliable experience that puts your health first.