What Precautions To Consider Before Taking OTC Drugs

Over-the- counter medication are sold without any prescription. Most OTC drugs cure pain, itching, and tooth decay etc. However, the Food and Drug Administration has clearly stated that although they are safe, they still pose risk to the health. Sometimes, these medicines interact with other medicines and delay or nullify its effect.

otc-drugsWe need to understand that these drugs are not meant for serious health conditions and can sometimes make matters worse. Whenever upon taking these drugs, do you notice a rash or experience insomnia like symptoms, it is better to stop taking them immediately and instead consult the doctor. Let us now read about the adverse effects of OTC drugs on different people.

Effect On Children

The process of metabolizing the drug is different in children and adult. Many of you will be surprised to know that most of the OTC drugs and even prescribed drugs are not tested for their safety and efficacy in children. Years before, researchers confirmed that Reye’s syndrome affected children to overexposure to Aspirin.

Some OTC medicine label read as, for 2 to 6 years give2 teaspoonful and for 6 to 12 years, give 4 teaspoonful etc. Do all the teaspoons measure the same? Moreover, children falling in these age groups are not alike. They differ in their body size and weight and so giving them the exact dosage could be a little tricky. Therefore, giving these medications to children without prescription can prove hazardous for children and it is a waste of money as well.

Elderly People

Ability of the body to metabolize decreases with age. In addition, elders normally suffer from one or two conditions. Therefore, there are high chances that the side effects of the medicine affect elderly more than when given to children.

As said, elder people are generally suffering from other health problem; they must be taking medicines for it. Sometimes these OTC drugs can interfere with these medicines and give adverse consequences.

Antihistamines, which are normally present in pain relief formula, cold and cough medications, allergy drugs can worsen health issues in older people. Some of the serious health issues resulting from OTC drugs are wide-angle glaucoma, dry mouth, enlarged prostate gland, difficulty with urination, sleeping disorders etc. Even antacids can sometime give side effects in elderly. Diarrhea, constipation, constipation are some of the possible side effects.

Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

Drugs from a pregnant or a breastfeeding woman can easily reach the womb or the baby’s body and do harm. Any medicine, be it for pain relief, for constipation or for vomiting should be taken only after consultation with the doctor. When you are buying OTC drugs, read the label as they contain warnings, lie not suitable for pregnant or breast-feeding women.  There are some drugs, which are labeled as B grade or C grade. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs fall under C category i.e. women should avoid them in the last trimester as they could give rise to some complications.

Therefore, before taking any Over-the-counter medication, do read the labels carefully and take into account your age, present, and past health status. There is one way you could take them safely, whenever, you visit the doctor, ask him or her about safe OTC drugs that suit your body and health.