Over-the-counter Medications

You can get over-the-counter (OTC) medications without a doctor’s prescription. They’re considered safe and effective when you follow the directions on the label or from your health care provider. Many people find them to be a good, safe choice. They may also be cheaper than your copayments for prescription drugs.
 
For some conditions, OTC medications are just as effective as prescription medications. In fact, some OTC medications used to be prescription drugs. Once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviewed their safety records, they were approved for sale without a prescription. For example, several popular antihistamines used to be available only by prescription. They are now available in OTC versions that you can get to treat seasonal allergies. Another example would be several popular heartburn medications. Once available only by prescription, you no longer need one to buy them.
 
Ask your doctor if OTC medications are right for you. Remember to always follow the directions on the label or your doctor’s advice.