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Over the Counter Medication :. Overview of OTC Medications (Harris Survey). > 100,000 OTC Products Few unique active ingredients > 700 are former Rx meds. Some Interesting OTC Facts:. 3/5 people have used an OTC medication in the last 6 months

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overview of otc medications harris survey
Overview of OTC Medications (Harris Survey)
  • > 100,000 OTC Products
  • Few unique active ingredients
  • > 700 are former Rx meds
some interesting otc facts
Some Interesting OTC Facts:
  • 3/5 people have used an OTC medication in the last 6 months
  • This is slightly more than who used an Rx medication in the last 6 months
basic points
Basic Points:
  • Medication v. Drug
  • MOST medications can cause
      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Dizziness
      • Drowsiness
interesting facts and otc problems
Interesting Facts and OTC Problems:
  • People don’t consider OTC’s real medicine.
  • People just don’t know what is in these medications, and many contain the same active ingredients.
  • Only 34% of consumers could identify the active ingredient in the medicine they were taking.
otc medication use by category
OTC Medication Use by Category:
  • Most common uses include:
    • Pain (78%)
    • Cough, cold, flu (52%)
    • Allergy and sinus (45%)
    • Heartburn, stomach (37%)
    • Constipation, diarrhea (21%)
    • Skin problems (10%)
for example
For Example:
  • Pain
    • Most common ingredients:
      • Acetaminophen (Tylenol aka, APAP)
      • Aspirin (Many)
      • Ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil)
      • Naproxen (Aleve) and ketoprofen (Orudis)
      • Caffeine
      • Buffers, coatings, long acting, strongest pain reliever you can buy without a prescription….
otc medication use

OTC Medication Use:

Some specific recommendations and considerations

  • Acetaminophen (apap)
      • first line treatment in those < 18
      • Generally causes few problems
      • Is very safe to use
  • Aspirin
      • should be avoided in the under 18 age group
      • Reye’s syndrome
      • Other problems usually associated with stomach distress (NVD)
  • Ibuprofen
      • Fine to use in the <18 age group
      • Works about as well as apap
      • Caution if kids are dehydrated
      • Sometimes used in combo with APAP
      • Dizziness, plus stomach problems
      • Aspirin / ibuprofen allergies a concern, in some cases you are seeing students after their first dose of a medication!
      • Hives, shortness of breath, facial swelling, difficulty breathing or swallowing, itching, feeling funny
      • Seek medical assistance immediately
cough cold and flu allergy and sinus
Cough, Cold and Flu, Allergy and Sinus
  • Decongestants (stuffy)
    • Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed)
        • PPA removed from the market, others include phenylepherine, and some nasal sprays (Afrin)
        • Have been associated with hallucinations, hypertension, irritability and hyperactivity
        • Can also cause drowsiness, especially as as the dose wears off
        • Products are available for very young children, but dosing is critical, so use pediatric dosage forms and measure carefully
cough cold and flu allergy and sinus1
Cough, Cold and Flu, Allergy and Sinus
  • Antihistamines (runny)
      • Claritin, Alavert (loratidine) Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), chlor and brompheniramine (Chlortrimeton, Dimetapp)
        • Alone, usually cause drowsiness
        • In combination, variable effects
        • NLD – 1:05 AM
        • Kids need plenty of fluids when taking these, helps with drowsiness and dry mouth, PLUS MORE
  • Cough suppressants
    • DM = dextromethorophan
      • Drowsiness, dizziness, NV
    • Codeine
      • Have to sign for OTC use
      • Not recommended for infants
      • Small or young children, can be used with caution
  • Expectorants
      • Guiafenesin (basic ingredient in most)
      • Usually no problem, need to use with water, works about as well as water in OTC doses.
      • No, water probably works better…
combination products
Combination Products
  • are very popular because they have many choices
    • Plain, DM, CF, PE, Orange, Grape
  • These products may contain
    • Antihistamines
    • Decongestants
    • Cough suppressants
    • Expectorants
heartburn stomach gas
Heartburn, Stomach, Gas
  • Antacids – many, many
        • Maalox, Riopan, Gaviscon, and plenty more
        • Tagament, Zantac, Pepcid, etc.
  • Gas
    • Simethicone
        • Breaks up the gas bubbles so they can be expelled and not cause pain. These products do not reduce the amount of gas!
        • Gas X
        • Mylicon
        • Many generics available
10 tips on otc use
10 Tips on OTC use
  • Read the label
  • Treat only the symptoms you have
  • Know what to avoid while taking OTCs – beware of interactions
  • ASK before you buy
  • Use as directed on the label
  • Be careful if you take > 1 OTC
  • Don’t mix Rx and OTCs including herbals
  • Give your doctor a list of ALL meds
  • For kids, use pediatric formulas
  • Throw meds away if they are expired
keep in mind
Keep in mind:
  • If patient takes OTC meds, more than 1 medication, Rx and OTC meds, and something seems out of character, it could be the cause of adverse reaction.
  • These kinds of problems need to be brought to the attention of a health professional.