OTC (Over The Counter) Drugs Essay, Research Paper
Over the counter drugs
There are 2 basic types of drugs, prescription, and over the counter. Over the counter drugs can be bought any where, from a 7-eleven to a drugstore. There are a few different types of drugs. Antihistamines: such as bynadrill used for allergies. Analgesics: such as Tylenol and aspirin, and more powerful ones, morphine and codeine, used for reliving pain. Anesthetics: such as Novocain used for more severe pain. Antibiotics: used to prevent or stop infection. Barbiturates and sedatives: used to go to sleep or to calm a patient.
Tylenol and other pain medications are the most common OTC drugs (over the counter drugs). Most can me habit forming and will say so on the label. The problem with selling medicines over the counter is that they might interact with other drugs and cause severe side effects. Take Tylenol for example. On the label it only says the dosage information and a warning not to use it if the seal is broken, and to call a doctor in case of an overdose. There is a resource book for doctors called the PDR or ( Physicians Desk Reference). In the book is a listing of all FDA approved drugs. Most doctors use it when prescribing drugs to patients. It has a complete description of all drug interactions and side effects. In the PDR it says that a serious overdose would be 10 grams or 20 pills, still the death rate is only 3-4%. It describes the procedure to treat an overdose, and all the ingredients. In another example: The OTC Tagamet box says only “adverse reactions” on it. In the PDR it shows the chemical make up of the drug, the studies done to prove it’s safety and effectiveness. All the “adverse reactions” are explained like diarrhea and dizziness. The drug interactions which are: phenytoin, propranolol, and other words which have no meaning outside of a doctor’s office are shown.
Over the counter drug manufacturers should be required to provide more information with their products. Not the whole PDR just the side effects and interactions.
1991 Physicians’ Desk Reference. Copyright 1991, Medical Economics Data.
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