It is now simpler than ever before to purchase over-the-counter medications. These medications are available from your corner pharmacy as well as from online pharmacies. You can purchase them without a prescription from a physician, however, do you know how to effectively choose the best over-the-counter products in terms of efficacy and safety? Here are some essential safety tips to help you make a safe and informed decision.
Look For Over-The-Counter Medications That Suit Your Symptoms
Take enough time to thoroughly identify your symptoms correctly so that you can choose the most appropriate medicine for your personal situation. If you have a stuffy nose but not a fever, you should choose a nasal decongestant spray. It is unnecessary and dangerous to use medication which will not improve your current symptoms in any way.
You should also be careful not to confuse your symptoms. For example, you should be able to determine the difference between a simple tension headache and migraine headache. Also, if a woman with abnormal vaginal discharge has a yeast infection, the characteristics of vaginal discharge will be different from the discharge that is commonly seen in bacterial vaginosis. Anti-yeast vaginal creams are generally not effective in treating bacterial vaginosis, as this condition will require a prescription from your doctor.
Each over-the-counter medication has a certain number of active ingredients. Each ingredient also comes in a certain amount. It is necessary to check these details to make sure you purchase the correct medication for the relief you need. If you always purchase a particular medicine but that medicine is not currently available, you will need to seek a substitute. The substitute, however, needs to contain the identical active ingredients in the exact same amount.
You should also review the support ingredients. This is especially important if you have multiple chemical sensitivities. You should also take extra care when purchasing over-the-counter medications for young children as well.
Review Warnings And Side Effects
You have to make sure that the over-the-counter medications in which you plan to purchase are perfectly safe before you purchase them. For this reason, you will need to carefully review the warnings and side effects. This is especially important for those who have chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease, and for those who take prescription medications. If you are pregnant or breast feeding, you should talk to your physician before taking any over-the-counter medications.
Seek Professional Advice
You don’t have to decipher the labels on over-the-counter medications on your own. Consult the pharmacist at the drug store to help interpret labels and clarify any confusing information. If you need further information about a certain medication, call your physician. Finally, if you haven’t achieved relieve from the over-the-counter medications in a few days, notify your doctor.
Be Wary Of Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements are not typically regulated in the same strict methods as medications are. Certain dietary supplements can cause dangerous interactions with medications, so talk to your physician before taking them. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements, while considered to be very healthy for your heart, can thin your blood, leading to abnormal bleeding. If you take omega-3 fatty acids with aspirin or prescription anti-coagulant medications, your blood may become too thin, causing serious gastrointestinal bleeding or bleeding in your brain.
If you experience abnormal bleeding or any other side effects from over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements, notify your physician. If bleeding is severe, or if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath or swelling of the throat, tongue, lips or mouth, seek emergency medical attention.