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How To Choose The Right Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

Updated: Mar 18

pharmacist looking at medicine

When it comes to managing common illnesses on your own, over-the-counter (OTC) medications are convenient and easy options. These medications don’t require prescriptions, and provide relief from symptoms such as pain, fever, allergies, coughs, and more.

However, it's important to make informed choices when selecting what OTC medications you want to use. This is important for not only your safety, but in actually treating your illness. In this blog, we will provide you with insights and tips to help you make the right decisions when it comes to over-the-counter medications.

Understanding OTC Medications:

To start off, it's important to have a basic understanding of what OTC medications are and how they work. The FDA is a great resource to use to familiarize yourself with certain OTC medications before you take them. Medline Plus says that the medicine you are taking could interact with other medicines, supplements, foods, or drinks, so it is important that you understand exactly what you’re consuming.

Reading Labels and Ingredients:

One of the more obvious steps in making informed choices is to read and understand the labels on the medications. Many people assume that their lifestyle wouldn’t cause any problems with OTC medications. Medline Plus provides many risks that can be addressed simply by reading the labels. You can find the active ingredients, dosage instructions, warnings, and potential side effects.

Consulting a Pharmacist

If you have any questions or uncertainties about OTC medications, don't hesitate to consult one of our pharmacists at Compass Community Health. Pharmacists are knowledgeable in the world of medicine and can provide guidance and recommendations based on your individual needs. Call our pharmacy at (740) 351-1500 for assistance on your prescription or for any help regarding OTC medications.

Adhering to Proper Dosage and Timing

Using OTC medications correctly is crucial for their effectiveness and your safety. Following the dosage instructions will give you the best chance at making a healthy recovery. If that dosage or amount doesn't help your symptoms, talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist rather than upping your dosage or decreasing time between doses.

Recognizing Limitations and Seeking Professional Help

While OTC medications are beneficial for self-treatment of minor illnesses, it's very important to recognize their limitations. In cases of persistent or worsening symptoms, do not rely on OTC medications. Instead, schedule a primary care visit at Compass Community Health today!

Making informed choices when it comes to OTC medications empowers you to effectively manage minor health concerns and find relief from symptoms. Remember, if you have any concerns or doubts, always seek professional guidance.


Your health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.

Reach out today!


-Message us on Facebook @ Compass Community Health

-Call: 740-355-7102

-Address: 1634 11th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662


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