Important Tips for Safely Using Pharma OTC (Over-the-Counter) and Dietary Supplements
Today, there are thousands of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and dietary supplements such as health and beauty food supplements particularly glutathione skin whitening supplement blood sugar control dietary supplement that you can purchase without a prescription. However, even though these products are readily available without a prescription, they still need to be taken with care.
In this article, we discuss the importance of OTC medications and dietary supplements, as well as some tips for safe medication and supplement use.
Why Do People Take Over-the-Counter Medications and Dietary Supplements?
OTC medications can help you feel better by treating or preventing common health problems, like coughs and colds, fever, aches and pains, allergies, heartburn, constipation, and other lifestyle disease. OTC medications are convenient and readily available in groceries and pharmacies.
Dietary supplements can be used to fill in nutritional gaps in the diet. Furthermore, it may be particularly beneficial for certain groups of people – including pregnant women, vegetarians, vegans, and people with food allergies – who may require higher levels of certain nutrients or whose diets may prevent the intake of certain nutrients. However, supplements may not be necessary for everyone. So, make sure to consult your doctor before taking any type of supplement – they can help you determine if a dietary supplement is necessary.
Tips for Safely Using Pharma OTC (Over-the-Counter) and Dietary Supplements
To help you choose and use your OTC medications and dietary supplements safely, keep these tips in mind.
+ Tips for Safe Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medication Use
- Here are 4 tips for safe OTC medication use:
Your doctor and pharmacist can help guide you in choosing the appropriate OTC medication based on your medical history and specific health needs. Also, because some OTC medications may cause an allergic reaction and may interact with other medications, make sure that your doctor or pharmacist is aware of any allergies you have and other prescription or OTC medications that you are taking.
Make sure to inform them about any vitamins, natural herbal colon cleansing supplements, or alternative products that you may be taking as well. Your doctor or pharmacist will use this information to recommend an appropriate OTC medication for you.
Always read the label carefully – doing so will help you decide if you have chosen the right product for your symptoms. Reading the label will also help you understand the dosage instructions and be aware of any warning that may apply to you.
Some OTC medications contain more than one ingredient – and each active ingredient treats a different symptom. For instance, Tylenol (a fever reducer/pain reliever) and Tylenol Cold & Sinus (treatment for a cold and sinus congestion) both contain the active ingredient acetaminophen. Because they both contain acetaminophen, Tylenol and Tylenol Cold & Sinus should not be taken together.
To make sure that you don’t take unnecessary medications, and to reduce your risk of side effects, choose a product that only treats the symptoms that you have.
Like prescription medications, all OTC medications can cause reactions or side effects. Make sure to read the label carefully to see what you should avoid while taking an OTC medication.
+ Tips for Safe Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medication Use
Here are 4 tips for safe dietary supplement use:
Just like on OTC medications, you need to read the labels of dietary supplements carefully. Remember, dietary supplements must bear the appropriate nutrition and ingredient labeling. It should also contain dosage instructions.
Taking your supplement as directed does not just mean paying attention to the dosage instructions. You also have to read the label of all your prescription and OTC medications carefully. Doing so will help you understand how your dietary supplement could potentially interact with the medications you take or the food you eat.
Always take your supplements according to the directions on the label. Also, take note that some dietary supplements must be taken with food, while others on an empty stomach. Read the label carefully for more instructions on how you should take your supplement.
Try to avoid taking more than one type of dietary supplement. Remember, the more ingredients, the greater the chances of side effects and other harmful results. Taking more than one type of dietary supplement could also make it more difficult to know which substance is causing any side effects.
With hundreds of dietary supplements available in the market today, choosing a specific product to take can be overwhelming. However, when choosing your dietary supplement, there is one thing that you should always consider – the name and reputation of the manufacturer or distributor. Dietary supplements that are made by nationally-known drug manufacturers are more likely to have been made under tight quality control and with the highest standards as they have a reputation to uphold.
Here are some general guidelines when taking OTC medications and dietary supplements:
- Keep an updated list of all the OTC medications, vitamins, and dietary supplements you take. Make sure to list the active ingredient(s) and your reasons for taking each one. Then, share this list with your healthcare providers at each visit so they can check for possible drug interactions or side effects.
- Do not use OTC medications and dietary supplements after their expiration date. Make sure to dispose of them safely and promptly after they expire and be careful not to throw them away where children or pets may find them.
- Take the medication and supplement exactly as stated on the label. When it comes to OTC medications and dietary supplements, more is not better. Taking too much of an OTC medication or supplement can be harmful. Only take the recommended amount as stated on the label.
- When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist before you buy or use any OTC medications or dietary supplements.
The Bottom Line
OTC medications can help you feel better by treating or preventing common health problems, while dietary supplements can be used to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet.
There are literally thousands of OTC medications and dietary supplements that are readily available in groceries and pharmacies today – all of which you can purchase without a prescription. However, OTC medications and dietary supplements still need to be taken with care.
When it comes to OTC medications and dietary supplements, you need to read the label carefully, follow dosage instructions as stated on the label, avoid taking more than is necessary, and watch out for potential side effects.
If you are feeling unsure about taking OTC medications and dietary supplements, always consult your doctor or pharmacist first.