What is the difference between prescription drugs and OTC drugs?

prescription drugs vs OTC drugsDrugs are categorized into prescription medications as well as OTC drugs. Prescription pills are those which have to be bought only with a medical script as it is only safe to purchase them like that. Some medical conditions would be fatal and this would require an RX only drug. There are many pills that could be habit forming so this should not be taken by a person who already has a history of drug abuse. So they categorize these pills under prescription drugs.

Over-the-counter drugs are those which can be bought without a doctor’s script. The pills that are safe to be taken by everyone are categorized under OTC medication. To get a medical script, you need to go to the hospital and consult a health care professional. They would analyze your health condition and would prescribe the medication for you. The medication and dosage information are usually written in a script sheet. This means that the patient has the authority to take a particular medication. Only the patient who is prescribed with the prescript meds should take it and they should not share it with other people.

The RX drugs have to be bought from a VIPPS authorized online pharmacy. In the case of OTC drugs, you don’t need to go to the hospital to consult the medical specialist. These pills can be purchased off the shelves of the store. This medication can be used by more than one person but due to the risk of contamination of the medications, some non-prescription meds would be avoided to do so. The food and drug administration (FDA) would be analyzing both the medical prescript as well as non-prescript medicine. Both the medicines would cause harm to you if it is misused. Prescription drugs may be given to treat mild as well as severe ailments whereas non-prescript meds would be given to treat only mild ailments.

Shall I take prescription drugs if it is not prescribed?
You should never take an RX drug if it is not prescribed by the doctor to you. These medicines are mentioned as RX as it needs serious analysis by the doctor about your health condition before prescribing them to you. If someone tells you to take an RX drug or if someone shares their medications with you, it should be avoided. Your health condition would be worsened in this case and would not upgrade. You may get allergic reactions or sometimes you may get hospitalized. So never ever take an RX med that is not prescribed to you.

Why are some non-prescription drugs availed with only a prescription?
There are some medications that are legally categorized as a non-prescription drug but few among them are only bought with a medical script. You would be confused about that. Some medications that contain ingredients like ephedrine and pseudoephedrine though are OTC meds; it has to be bought from a pharmacy with an RX. This is to prevent the occurrence of illegal drug production. The above mentioned ingredients are combined together to form a methamphetamine, which is a highly addictive stimulant. Apart from some pill, other OTC meds are available off the shelf.