Taking medicine with no prescription can be one of two things. On one hand, it can be an entirely safe and responsible act. While on the other hand, it can be an act of outright negligence with the potential to cause significant self-harm. Indeed, the divergence between these polar extremes is so disconcertingly stark as to be enshrined in law as the gap separating legality from illegality. For answers to FAQs about medicines, you can visit this site.
The legal side of this split is characterized by the familiar everyday reality of over-the-counter medicines (OTCs). While the illegal side is exemplified by the shadowy and unregulated online trade-in prescription medicines.
Over The Counter Medicines
OTCs are medicines which can be legally dispensed without a prescription. They are freely available and, can be purchased anywhere. However, it’s important to emphasize that neither safety nor effectiveness has been sacrificed to promote such convenience. The vast majority of physicians consider OTCs to be both safe (91%) and effective (92%).
Despite such reassurances, it remains important to follow the directions when taking OTCs. Since the effectiveness of any medicine diminishes with time, it’s also extremely worthwhile to check the expiration date of OTCs before taking them. On top of that, OTCs should also be stored in a cool dry place which is out of the reach of children.
Additionally, under certain circumstances, it’s advisable to consult with a doctor prior to taking OTCs. A further safeguard requires that certain OTCs are exclusively dispensed under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.
Everything from skin rashes to headaches and from diarrhea to allergies can be treated using OTCs. Common OTCs include antihistamines, such as loratadine, cough medicines, such as dextromethorphan, and painkillers, such as ibuprofen.
Rogue Online Pharmacies
Rogue pharmacies can be readily identified by their willingness to dispense prescription medicines without a prescription. To consumers, this practice should stand out as a red flag as not only is it illegal, it’s also reckless and can endanger people’s lives.
Since unscrupulous outlets like these operate outside of state-imposed regulatory parameters there is no guarantee that the medicines which they dispense are safe. Medicines may be improperly stored or, worse still, contain unsafe levels of certain active ingredients.
Taking such medicines can aggravate health issues or provoke unforeseen side effects such as severe allergic reactions.
Further risks include;
- Administering inappropriate dosages
- Taking unsuitable medications
- Taking medications unnecessarily
Moreover, the use of illegally sourced antibiotics accelerates the spread of antibiotic resistance and may, therefore, harm other people.
Recent research suggests that as many as 1 in 4 Americans have either already used antibiotics without a prescription or have the intention to do so in the future. Similarly, nearly 50% have stockpiled antibiotics for future use.
Opting to take prescription medicine with no prescription is foolhardy in the extreme and can bring about potentially disastrous results. Conversely, however, the use of OTCs is safe and, according to 87% of physicians, plays an important role in family healthcare.