Over-The-Counter Meds VS Prescription Drugs: Differences and Similarities

medicineTaking medicine is one way to counter an illness. Some even go straight to the doctors, especially if they have histories of other illnesses. There are two ways you can get your medicine: through a doctor’s prescription and by buying relatively safe drugs over the counter.

Medicines vary in names, dosage, and function, but each can naturally cure at least a specific ailment, as noted by Jolleyssandypharmacy.com. But how would you know if you should choose one over the other? Are these medicines just the same?


Both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines are certainly approved and regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. All drugs legally sold in pharmacies are technically authorized by this governing body, meaning these have been tested and proven to be safe and effective.

Doctors advise that when taking either type of medicine, never abuse it and read first the label carefully to ensure you are taking the right one. Be sure you also understand how to take it, whether by swallowing, inhaling, or other ways to ingest it. Taking it at the recommended dosage at the right time is important.


Prescription medicines require a doctor’s approval and can only be bought at a pharmacy, intended for just one person. Over-the-counter drugs, meanwhile, are the ones that can be bought by anyone at any store even without a doctor’s prescription. The medicines for common illnesses like pain, allergies, flu, and vitamins are usually over-the-counter drugs.

Prescribed medicines are meant for just one person, and should never be used by another individual even if they have the same ailments, unlike over-the-counter medicines. Some drugs are strictly manufactured for a certain disease, thus it may have a different effect when consumed by other people.

Health awareness is always important, which is why you should know which medicines are suitable for your condition and how to take it correctly. Medicines are meant to make people better. By taking the right drugs and dosage, you will be closer to feeling better.