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Over-the-Counter Remedies
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When you’re feeling ill, sometimes you just don’t have time to run to the provider’s office. You might have a favorite over-the-counter (OTC) medicine that you can easily pick up at the pharmacy. When you are looking into OTC medication, be sure to read the label carefully. The label will tell you how much medicine you should take, what symptoms the medicine will alleviate, and any cautions that may be necessary. The label will also list active ingredients (the therapeutic product in the medicine) and inactive ingredients (other substances like coloring). Unlike alternative medicines and supplements, OTC medicine is carefully regulated by the FDA. You can tell the difference between OTC and supplements because of their location in the pharmacy. If you are unsure, ask the pharmacist for directions. In fact, your pharmacist will be able to answer any questions you have about OTCs in the store. The label of the OTC will also have instructions about what to do in case of an overdose. Make sure you read that carefully, and never take more OTC than prescribed. Perhaps two pills are harmless, but half of a bottle will make you sick and could cause serious health problems or death. Also, check to see if you need to take the OTC medicine with food. If the bottle doesn’t say, make sure you don’t take the medicine on an empty stomach because you could become nauseous.

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Over-the-Counter Remedies