Pros and Cons of OTC medications_branchbrook

Pros and Cons of OTC medications

Over-the-counter medicines are a readily available solution for minor to mild health issues. You can get them from any chemist without a formal prescription from a medical expert. Despite being accessible and within budget, these non-prescription drugs have their merits and demerits, as every other product does!

You can find OTC medications in most chemist stores, and they are highly affordable. But, before rushing to grab any of the OTC products, make sure that you are not allergic to any of its components. Or, if the symptoms persist even after taking the OTC drugs, consulting with a medical expert is the next option you need to opt for. 

Read more to know about the Pros and Cons of OTC Medications.

What Are the Benefits of These OTC Medications?  

The biggest advantage that OTC products hold is their easy availability. In addition, they are super affordable, letting you buy them for even your minor health issues at ease. Moreover, you gain a sense of independence over your health, which is a good thing! 

 Also, these medications will save you a lot of time, since you won’t have to consult a doctor before taking them. With these OTC drugs, you will feel more independent and convenient. These drugs act as the primary solutions for every minor health condition and provide quick relief. 

So, what are the pros of these OTC medications? Check it out below. 

  • Easy Availability: You can access them from any chemist store or even some grocery stores. Most pharmacies keep OTC products for common health conditions, making it convenient for you to get them handy! 
  • Reduced Cost: As there are no steps of consultation with a medical expert, OTC products are relatively cheaper and reduce the cost burden. 
  • Instant Relief: OTC drugs are well-known for their instant relief factor. Got an ache or heartburn? You can have an OTC medicine for any such issues and get instant relief.
  • Enhances Knowledge about Medicines: OTC drugs aid in expanding the knowledge base of people about the medicines they use and the diseases for which they need to use them! 

Drawbacks of Using OTC Drugs 

Despite being affordable and convenient, OTC drugs are not free from adverse effects. Different OTC products have varying ranges of affects that you can ignore. Before using these medications, you need to check their legitimacy. 

What are the problems with OTC medicines? 

  • Pain Relievers: The common disadvantages of OTC pain relievers like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen are: 
    • Long-term usage can lead to severe health conditions. 
    • Overdose of these pain relievers may even cause organ failure.
  • Cough Or Cold Medicines: This is the most common health condition for which you will probably get an OTC product. You may feel that treating a mild cold or cough with OTC drugs is the probable option. But have you wondered that it comes with more demerits than you can imagine? 
    • Leads to dizziness or hallucination. 
    • More chances of increasing heartbeat and blurred vision. 
    • Misusing drugs may worsen the condition rather than cure a cold. 
  • Motion Sickness Tablets: Motion sickness can be an annoying experience, particularly if you are a travel enthusiast! Tablets for the same may seem workable until you see the repercussions it may have.
    • It has a high chance of overdose. 
    • Leads to dizziness. 
    • These drugs can even lead the consumer to coma or death! 

How Effectively Does OTC Products Work? 

OTC products are an easy solution for coping with the symptoms of any health condition. Suffering from a cold or a fever? You can easily find medicines for this without a formal prescription! But you may wonder how effective OTC drugs are. 

You may be interested in learning if OTC products actually work on symptoms, considering they are easily accessible and inexpensive. If you are planning to buy a non-prescription drug for a mild condition, ask the chemist about it. These drugs are safe to use and work effectively if you follow the directions listed on the labels. 

Failing to follow the directions may lead to overdose or misuse of the drugs, which may have severe repercussions! Here, the efficiency of OTC products will be adversely affected. 

Side Effects of Non-Prescription Drugs

Every medicine has the risk of adverse effects associated with them! Likewise, OTC drugs are not an exception in this aspect. Every other person may face a different side effect with a similar drug, as it varies with age group, health condition, use of other supplements, and so on.  

Though side effects of OTC products may include stomach upset, dizziness, and such common issues, it may even lead to organ damage or fatal reactions! 

To reduce these risks from any OTC drug, you need to know about the medication before consuming the same. Moreover, if you notice any adverse symptoms after using OTC drugs, consultation with a medical professional is the only way you should adopt! 

Affordability of OTC medications

The main feature of this category of drugs, for which it is highly preferred, is being affordable for everyone. You can find OTC medicines at almost all pharmacies, and even grocery stores sometimes pile them up! 

Due to its affordability, you can follow the course exactly as directed, without omitting steps. 


OTC products are a simple way to keep track of your health and cope with the symptoms of any specific health issues. Follow up on the directions before using, as mentioned on the label, to avoid overdosing or misusing the medications! 

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Also Read : The Top 10 Common OTC Products - Branchbrook Pharmacy