non prescription drugs


Summary: Medicines that can be sold legally without a DRUG PRESCRIPTION.

Top Publications

  1. You J, Wong F, Chan F, Wong E, Yeoh E. Public perception on the role of community pharmacists in self-medication and self-care in Hong Kong. BMC Clin Pharmacol. 2011;11:19 pubmed publisher
  2. Walji R, Boon H, Barnes J, Welsh S, Austin Z, Baker G. Reporting natural health product related adverse drug reactions: is it the pharmacist's responsibility?. Int J Pharm Pract. 2011;19:383-91 pubmed publisher
  3. Raynor D, Dickinson R, Knapp P, Long A, Nicolson D. Buyer beware? Does the information provided with herbal products available over the counter enable safe use?. BMC Med. 2011;9:94 pubmed publisher
    ..Potential purchasers need to know, in both the short term and the long term, how to purchase herbal products which provide the information they need for the safe use of these products. ..
  4. Doherty M, Hawkey C, Goulder M, Gibb I, Hill N, Aspley S, et al. A randomised controlled trial of ibuprofen, paracetamol or a combination tablet of ibuprofen/paracetamol in community-derived people with knee pain. Ann Rheum Dis. 2011;70:1534-41 pubmed publisher
    ..However, in this population, paracetamol 3 g/day may cause similar degrees of blood loss as ibuprofen 1200 mg/day, and the combination of the two appears to be additive. Study no ISRCTN77199439. ..
  5. Okeke T, Uzochukwu B, Okafor H. An in-depth study of patent medicine sellers' perspectives on malaria in a rural Nigerian community. Malar J. 2006;5:97 pubmed
    ..More action research and interventions to improve prescription and referral practices and giving verbal advice to care-givers is recommended. Ways to integrate the drug sellers in the health system are also recommended. ..
  6. Frei M, Nielsen S, Dobbin M, Tobin C. Serious morbidity associated with misuse of over-the-counter codeine-ibuprofen analgesics: a series of 27 cases. Med J Aust. 2010;193:294-6 pubmed
  7. Thomas A, Nallur D, Jones N, Deslandes P. Diphenhydramine abuse and detoxification: a brief review and case report. J Psychopharmacol. 2009;23:101-5 pubmed publisher
    ..Similarly community pharmacists and GPs should be vigilant to excessive requests for DPH, particularly in patients with a psychotic illness...
  8. Brune K. Persistence of NSAIDs at effect sites and rapid disappearance from side-effect compartments contributes to tolerability. Curr Med Res Opin. 2007;23:2985-95 pubmed
  9. Qato D, Alexander G, Conti R, Johnson M, Schumm P, Lindau S. Use of prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements among older adults in the United States. JAMA. 2008;300:2867-78 pubmed publisher
    ..In this sample of community-dwelling older adults, prescription and nonprescription medications were commonly used together, with nearly 1 in 25 individuals potentially at risk for a major drug-drug interaction. ..

More Information


  1. Lynch N, Berry D. Differences in perceived risks and benefits of herbal, over-the-counter conventional, and prescribed conventional, medicines, and the implications of this for the safe and effective use of herbal products. Complement Ther Med. 2007;15:84-91 pubmed
    ..People need to be given clear information about the risks and benefits of herbal medicines if they are to use such products safely and effectively. ..
  2. Albert S, Musa D, Kwoh C, Hanlon J, Silverman M. Self-care and professionally guided care in osteoarthritis: racial differences in a population-based sample. J Aging Health. 2008;20:198-216 pubmed publisher
    ..A broader view of self-management is valuable for assessing the ways people may move between professionally guided care and self-care. ..
  3. Rogovik A, Vohra S, Goldman R. Safety considerations and potential interactions of vitamins: should vitamins be considered drugs?. Ann Pharmacother. 2010;44:311-24 pubmed publisher
    ..Vitamin A should be excluded from multivitamin supplements and food fortificants. ..
  4. Vickers K, Jolly K, Greenfield S. Herbal medicine: women's views, knowledge and interaction with doctors: a qualitative study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2006;6:40 pubmed
    ..Doctors' communication and openness regarding herbal medicines needs to improve and there should be increased access to accurate information on herbal medicines in the public and health care domain. ..
  5. Gonzales R, Brecht M, Mooney L, Rawson R. Prescription and over-the-counter drug treatment admissions to the California public treatment system. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2011;40:224-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Results from this study offer useful treatment admission information about prescription and OTC drug abuse within the California public addiction treatment system. ..
  6. Kwan D, Boon H, Hirschkorn K, Welsh S, Jurgens T, Eccott L, et al. Exploring consumer and pharmacist views on the professional role of the pharmacist with respect to natural health products: a study of focus groups. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2008;8:40 pubmed publisher
    ..This paper demonstrates that consumers' expectations and behaviour significantly impact pharmacists' perceptions of their professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs. ..
  7. Bercaw J, Maheshwari B, Sangi Haghpeykar H. The use during pregnancy of prescription, over-the-counter, and alternative medications among Hispanic women. Birth. 2010;37:211-8 pubmed publisher
    ..Patient education about the risks of alternative therapies may lead to a reduction in intake of alternative medicines and greater disclosure to medical practitioners among this ethnic group. ..
  8. GRACIOUS B, Abe N, Sundberg J. The importance of taking a history of over-the-counter medication use: a brief review and case illustration of "PRN" antihistamine dependence in a hospitalized adolescent. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2010;20:521-4 pubmed publisher
    ..General strategies for combating OTC and prescription abuse are given. ..
  9. Krenzelok E, MacPherson E, Mrvos R. Disease surveillance and nonprescription medication sales can predict increases in poison exposure. J Med Toxicol. 2008;4:7-10 pubmed
    ..Real-time surveillance using other databases can help to forecast poison center activity. This knowledge allows the poison center to provide anticipatory guidance to the residents of its region. ..
  10. Das D, Metzger K, Heffernan R, Balter S, Weiss D, Mostashari F. Monitoring over-the-counter medication sales for early detection of disease outbreaks--New York City. MMWR Suppl. 2005;54:41-6 pubmed
    ..OTC medication sales can be considered as an adjunct syndromic surveillance system but might not be as sensitive as ED systems. ..
  11. Wilcox C, Cryer B, Triadafilopoulos G. Patterns of use and public perception of over-the-counter pain relievers: focus on nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. J Rheumatol. 2005;32:2218-24 pubmed
    ..Educational intervention directed toward both patients and physicians appears warranted. ..
  12. Morin A, Jarvis C, Lynch A. Therapeutic options for sleep-maintenance and sleep-onset insomnia. Pharmacotherapy. 2007;27:89-110 pubmed
    ..All pharmacotherapy should be used with appropriate caution, at minimum effective doses, and for minimum duration of time. ..
  13. Marston C, Meltzer H, Majeed A. Impact on contraceptive practice of making emergency hormonal contraception available over the counter in Great Britain: repeated cross sectional surveys. BMJ. 2005;331:271 pubmed
    ..Making emergency hormonal contraception available over the counter does not seem to have led to an increase in its use, to an increase in unprotected sex, or to a decrease in the use of more reliable methods of contraception. ..
  14. Lam A, Bradley G. Use of self-prescribed nonprescription medications and dietary supplements among assisted living facility residents. J Am Pharm Assoc (2003). 2006;46:574-81 pubmed
    ..The residents turned to family and friends, physicians, nurses, and ALF staff for information on these products more frequently than they did to pharmacists. ..
  15. Volmer D, Lilja J, Hamilton D. How well informed are pharmacy customers in Estonia about minor illnesses and over-the-counter medicines. Medicina (Kaunas). 2007;43:70-8 pubmed
    ..However, drug communication by healthcare professionals regarding over-the-counter medicines should be given more attention in the future. ..
  16. Ylinen S, Hämeen Anttila K, Sepponen K, Lindblad A, Ahonen R. The use of prescription medicines and self-medication among children--a population-based study in Finland. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2010;19:1000-8 pubmed publisher
    ..In three of the cases, a combination of prescription and OTC medicine with a potential risk for interactions were found. Physicians should be aware of this wide use of self-medication when prescribing medicines. ..
  17. Goodman C, Brieger W, Unwin A, Mills A, Meek S, Greer G. Medicine sellers and malaria treatment in sub-Saharan Africa: what do they do and how can their practice be improved?. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007;77:203-18 pubmed
    ..Interventions must be adapted to include artemisinin-based combination therapies, and their sustainability and potential to operate at a national level should be further explored. ..
  18. Frosst G, Majowicz S, Edge V. Factors associated with the use of over-the-counter medications in cases of acute gastroenteritis in Hamilton, Ontario. Can J Public Health. 2006;97:489-93 pubmed
    ..Those who use OTC medications for their illness appear to differ from those who do not. This information can inform health officials, and aid development of pharmacy-based syndromic surveillance. ..
  19. Guirguis K. The use of nonprescription medicines among elderly patients with chronic illness and their need for pharmacist interventions. Consult Pharm. 2010;25:433-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Men may need more pharmacist interventions in relation to their use of OTC/CM products. Pharmacists should offer comprehensive advice on managing presenting ailments and requests for OTC/CM products. ..
  20. Abuya T, Mutemi W, Karisa B, Ochola S, Fegan G, Marsh V. Use of over-the-counter malaria medicines in children and adults in three districts in Kenya: implications for private medicine retailer interventions. Malar J. 2007;6:57 pubmed
  21. Orriols L, Gaillard J, Lapeyre Mestre M, Roussin A. Evaluation of abuse and dependence on drugs used for self-medication: a pharmacoepidemiological pilot study based on community pharmacies in France. Drug Saf. 2009;32:859-73 pubmed publisher
  22. Kirian M, Weintraub J. Prediction of gastrointestinal disease with over-the-counter diarrheal remedy sales records in the San Francisco Bay Area. BMC Med Inform Decis Mak. 2010;10:39 pubmed publisher
    ..This work does not support the implementation of syndromic surveillance for gastrointestinal disease with data available though the National Retail Data Monitor. ..
  23. Kovac S, Saag K, Curtis J, Allison J. Association of health-related quality of life with dual use of prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. Arthritis Rheum. 2008;59:227-33 pubmed publisher
    ..However, by attempting to obtain symptom relief, patients may be putting themselves at risk for complications. Providers are likely unaware of patients' risk. Future research should evaluate the causal factors contributing to dual use. ..
  24. McKenna L, McIntyre M. What over-the-counter preparations are pregnant women taking? A literature review. J Adv Nurs. 2006;56:636-45 pubmed
  25. Meolie A, Rosen C, Kristo D, Kohrman M, Gooneratne N, Aguillard R, et al. Oral nonprescription treatment for insomnia: an evaluation of products with limited evidence. J Clin Sleep Med. 2005;1:173-87 pubmed
    ..There are significant potential risks associated with the use of Jamaican dogwood, kava kava, alcohol, and I-tryptophan. Physicians may find this information useful in counseling their patients. ..
  26. Wazaify M, Hughes C, McElnay J. The implementation of a harm minimisation model for the identification and treatment of over-the-counter drug misuse and abuse in community pharmacies in Northern Ireland. Patient Educ Couns. 2006;64:136-41 pubmed
    ..Notwithstanding the challenges faced in the study, this approach to harm minimisation should be considered for wider implementation in community pharmacy. ..
  27. Hanigan M, Dela Cruz B, Thompson D, Farmer K, Medina P. Use of prescription and nonprescription medications and supplements by cancer patients during chemotherapy: questionnaire validation. J Oncol Pharm Pract. 2008;14:123-30 pubmed publisher
    ..In some instances, apparent resistance of tumors to chemotherapy may be the result of drug interactions. ..
  28. Wang H, Liu C, Zhai J, Shang H. Niuhuang Jiangya Preparation (a traditional Chinese patent medicine) for essential hypertension: A systematic review. Complement Ther Med. 2017;31:90-99 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the evidence is not reliable enough. To produce definite evidence, more rigorously designed trials are needed. ..
  29. Dossabhoy N, McRight S, Sangha B, Khan S, Adgeh C. Orlistat-induced oxalate nephropathy may be dose-independent and present as a late manifestation. J La State Med Soc. 2013;165:283-5 pubmed
    ..Our case report highlights that this complication can occur after several years of use of the medication and is not necessarily dose dependant. ..
  30. Lee C. Federal regulation of unapproved chelation products. J Med Toxicol. 2013;9:313-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Efforts to prevent direct and indirect hazards to the population's health through regulatory actions are described. ..
  31. Plichta D, Dorynska A, Spiewak R. [Patterns of drug consumption and the occurrence of adverse drug reactions among students of public health]. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2012;32:232-7 pubmed
    ..Forty-five percent of students had an OTC drug on them while responding the questionnaire, 20.0% had a prescription drug. Students of public health seem to be notorious consumers of drugs and their attitude seems not fully rational. ..
  32. Nordén Hägg A, Shamoon M, Kälvemark Sporrong S. Deregulation of nonprescription medicines in Sweden-a look at the control system. Res Social Adm Pharm. 2012;8:567-73 pubmed publisher
    ..Work is still needed to make sure that optimal drug use and patient safety issues are kept in focus. ..
  33. Cao G, Li J, Li L, Li H, Wang F, Wang H, et al. Use of nonprescription medicines by patients with COPD: a survey in Chongqing Municipality, China. Chron Respir Dis. 2012;9:77-81 pubmed publisher
    ..Some Chinese patients with COPD living in the Chongqing area of China used NPMs that contained corticosteroids. Health education and advisement can effectively limit the use of NPMs. ..
  34. Sato E, Anraku M, Okamura N, Hata T, Yoshitomi H, Taguchi K, et al. [Surveillance study on the needs for self-medication of local residents and community pharmacists in Fukuyama]. Yakugaku Zasshi. 2011;131:1117-25 pubmed
  35. Karttunen N, Lihavainen K, Sipila S, Rantanen T, Sulkava R, Hartikainen S. Musculoskeletal pain and use of analgesics in relation to mobility limitation among community-dwelling persons aged 75 years and older. Eur J Pain. 2012;16:140-9 pubmed publisher
    ..The present findings underline the importance of the careful assessment and pharmacological and nonpharmacological management of pain in promoting mobility in older age. ..
  36. Gates M, Hall S, Chiu G, Kupelian V, Fitzgerald M, Link C, et al. Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug use and lower urinary tract symptoms: results from the Boston area community health survey. Am J Epidemiol. 2011;173:1022-31 pubmed publisher
    ..However, the associations between over-the-counter NSAID use and certain urologic symptoms, particularly among women with arthritis, and the potential mechanisms involved should be evaluated in future studies. ..
  37. Weidmann A, Cunningham S, Gray G, Hansford D, McLay J, Broom J, et al. Over-the-counter orlistat: early experiences, views and attitudes of community pharmacists in Great Britain. Int J Clin Pharm. 2011;33:627-33 pubmed publisher
    ..Exploratory studies collecting the views and experiences of the general public about the access and provision of weight management services through community pharmacies are warranted. ..
  38. Raine T, Ricciotti N, Sokoloff A, Brown B, Hummel A, Harper C. An over-the-counter simulation study of a single-tablet emergency contraceptive in young females. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119:772-9 pubmed publisher
    ..Restricting young females' use of a single-tablet emergency contraceptive by prescription only is not warranted, because females younger than 17 years can use it in a manner consistent with over-the-counter access. II. ..
  39. Masumoto S, Sato M, Maeno T, Ichinohe Y, Maeno T. Factors associated with the use of dietary supplements and over-the-counter medications in Japanese elderly patients. BMC Fam Pract. 2018;19:20 pubmed publisher
    ..General practitioners (GPs) need to recognize the potential use of nonprescription medications, considering that polypharmacy was common and disclosure rate was low in this study. ..
  40. Liu D, Li J, Qu P, Dang S, Wu X, Zhang R, et al. [Prenatal supplementations of iron, iron-containing multimicronutrients and antianemic Chinese patent medicines in women in Shaanxi province, 2010-2013]. Zhonghua Liu Xing Bing Xue Za Zhi. 2017;38:1466-1470 pubmed publisher
    ..The prophylactic iron supplementation before pregnancy or in the first trimester was rare. Measures should be taken to improve the prenatal supplementation of iron in Shaanxi and to standardize the clinical use of ACPM...
  41. Hoeke H, Roeder S, Bertsche T, Borte M, von Bergen M, Wissenbach D. Assessment of maternal drug intake by urinary bio monitoring during pregnancy and postpartally until the third perinatal year. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2016;25:431-7 pubmed publisher
    ..Hence, information about health risks for certain drugs and patient groups must be improved for and by pharmacists, to avoid (i) usage of contraindicated drugs and (ii) abuse of OTC drugs. ..
  42. Mhatre S, Sansgiry S. Assessing a conceptual model of over-the-counter medication misuse, adverse drug events and health-related quality of life in an elderly population. Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2016;16:103-10 pubmed publisher
    ..Misuse of OTC medications is highly associated with ADEs. ADEs are capable of decreasing the physical health of elderly patients. ..
  43. Choi J, Han J, Ahn H, Ryu H, Kim M, Chung J, et al. Fetal and neonatal outcomes in women reporting ingestion of licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) during pregnancy. Planta Med. 2013;79:97-101 pubmed publisher
    ..5; p = 0.27). In conclusion, the present study suggests that licorice is not a major teratogen. However, whether licorice may increase the risk of stillbirths requires careful consideration in further studies with a larger sample size. ..
  44. Kongkaew C, Hann M, Mandal J, Williams S, Metcalfe D, Noyce P, et al. Risk factors for hospital admissions associated with adverse drug events. Pharmacotherapy. 2013;33:827-37 pubmed publisher
    ..g., age > 65 years old, receiving more than five drugs, and starting new high-risk drugs) should be implemented in order to minimize the risks to patients and the burden on the health care system. ..
  45. Arora S, Roxburgh A, Bruno R, Nielsen S, Burns L. A cross-sectional analysis of over-the-counter codeine use among an Australian sample of people who regularly inject drugs. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2013;32:574-81 pubmed publisher
  46. Cage S, Rupp K, Castel J, Saliba E, Hertel J, Saliba S. Relative acoustic transmission of topical preparations used with therapeutic ultrasound. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94:2126-30 pubmed publisher
    ..Agents that reduce US transmission may lead to poor phonophoresis results and are likely to minimize the therapeutic effects of US. ..
  47. Jackson Allen P, Simenson S. Management of common cold symptoms with over-the-counter medications: clearing the confusion. Postgrad Med. 2013;125:73-81 pubmed publisher
    ..The need to educate health care professionals and patients on the safe and effective use of OTC medications is addressed, and we offer a guide for the management of symptoms that appear during the timeline of a typical common cold. ..
  48. Boudreau D, Wirtz H, Von Korff M, Catz S, St John J, Stang P. A survey of adult awareness and use of medicine containing acetaminophen. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2013;22:229-40 pubmed publisher
    ..Knowledge of which drugs contain acetaminophen appears inadequate; better labeling and proactive education from professionals may be impactful. ..
  49. Guo P, Xu X, Chen G, Bashir K, Shu H, Ge Y, et al. On-Line two dimensional liquid chromatography based on skeleton type molecularly imprinted column for selective determination of sulfonylurea additive in Chinese patent medicines or functional foods. J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2017;146:292-301 pubmed publisher
    ..With good retention time and spectral confirmation, chemical anti-diabetic substances were identified and quantified in traditional Chinese medicine and in dietary supplements. ..
  50. Bergström C, Persson M, Nergård K, Mogren I. Prevalence and predictors of persistent pelvic girdle pain 12 years postpartum. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017;18:399 pubmed publisher
    ..A screening tool needs to be developed for the identification of women at risk of developing PPGP to enable early intervention. ..
  51. Gabardi S, Carter D, Martin S, Roberts K. Recommendations for the proper use of nonprescription cough suppressants and expectorants in solid-organ transplant recipients. Prog Transplant. 2011;21:6-13; quiz 14 pubmed
    ..Codeine combined with guaifenesin is another option for cough and can be used in most transplant patients although those with reduced renal function should be monitored carefully for adverse events. ..
  52. Thorpe J, Thorpe C, Kennelty K, Gellad W, Schulz R. The impact of family caregivers on potentially inappropriate medication use in noninstitutionalized older adults with dementia. Am J Geriatr Pharmacother. 2012;10:230-41 pubmed publisher
    ..These results suggest that interventions to increase appropriate medication use in dementia patients and their caregivers should target both members of the dyad and target over-the-counter agents along with prescription medications. ..
  53. Veach A, Bernot M. Temporal variation of pharmaceuticals in an urban and agriculturally influenced stream. Sci Total Environ. 2011;409:4553-63 pubmed publisher
    ..Pharmaceuticals are designed to have a physiological effect; therefore, it is likely that they may also influence aquatic organisms, potentially threatening freshwater ecosystem health. ..