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Difference between Prescription Drugs and OTCs

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We’ve been speaking about prescription drugs more often on this website. So, we decided to take a U-turn and discuss two major drug classes known as Prescription Drugs and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs. So, if drugs are designed for the purpose of treating illness, wondering why there are 2 classes of drugs? Well, here are some of the most common differences between OTC drugs and prescription drugs.

As Wikipedia describes, “A prescription drug (also prescription medication or prescription medicine) is a pharmaceutical drug that legally requires a medical prescription to be dispensed. In contrast, OTC drugs can be obtained without a prescription.”

Speaking about prescription drugs and OTCs, let me remind you that GmeRx drug discount cards are applicable only on prescription drugs.

Prescription Drugs

These are the drugs that are prescribed by doctors and are sold at pharmacies. Some common examples of prescription drugs are Hydrocodone, Lisinopril, Azithromycin and Amoxicillin among others.

Prescription drugs are prescribed for use in specified dosages, for the specific person to which they are prescribed; and are not intended for generic use. Prescription drugs go through the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s New Drug Application (NDA) process.

According to the procedure, prescription drugs undergo animal and human tests; followed by a thorough analysis of the data. The NDA also includes detailed information about the drug’s behaviour on the human body, as well as the manufacturing process.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs

As the name indicates, drugs that do not require a doctor’s prescription, and are sold in non-pharmacy stores (like any other packaged products) are known are OTCs. As per the US FDA Regulations, OTC Drugs are regulated via OTC Monographs – a list of acceptable ingredients, doses, formulations, and labeling.

Some of the most common OTC drugs are Acetaminophen, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen; Pseudoephedrine, Oxymetazoline, Dyclonine and painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen among others.

On the other hand, prescription drugs are one of the most abused medications across the globe. Prescription Drug Abuse refers to the misuse of prescription drugs means taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain.

Most commonly, opioids (drugs used to treat pain), depressants (used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders) such as tranquilizers, sedatives, and hypnotics; and stimulants such as those that are used to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are among the highly misused prescription drugs.

At GmeRx, we ensured that discounts are available on only prescription drugs as they are comparatively expensive and used for more critical illnesses. GmeRx drug discount cards ensure a discount of up to 85% on your prescription drug purchases at our partner pharmacies.

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