Considerations When Buying Over the Counter Medication


What you need to understand when it comes to purchasing over the counter medicines is that there will always be risks involved. With the absence of a doctor’s prescription, you are basically on your own. You have to make sure that you purchase the right medicines and that you take them at the right dosage. Majority of cases that involve medical overdose are usually perpetrated by people who have taken either the wrong medicine or excessive amounts of it. For safety reasons, you have to be extra careful when purchasing medicines without a prescription. To help you out, here are considerations when buying over the counter medication.

Make sure that you made the right self-diagnosis

medicationPurchasing the right over the counter medicines relies on the accuracy of your self-diagnosis. You can’t always be right so you should take the time to throw some questions at the pharmacist if you are taking the right medicines. Pharmacists are trained medical professionals so their opinions and diagnosis can help you decide which medicines to buy.

Always check the expiry date

Expired medications can cause serious harm to the body especially if you take them several times a day. With that said, make sure that the medicines you buy are still far away from their expiration dates. You should also take the time to check if there are any signs of tampering in the medicine’s label or packaging. The pharmaceutical industry isn’t free from scammers trying to resell expired medicines. It’s not always the fault of the pharmacy. In most cases, expired medicines are from shady suppliers and manufacturers.

Ask the pharmacist to identify possible side effects

medicineAs was mentioned earlier, pharmacists are very knowledgeable about the medicines they are selling. That said, you should always take the time to ask if the over the counter medicines you are buying can cause potential side effects. You should be honest and tell the pharmacist about other illnesses you may be suffering from. There’s a chance that the medicines can interfere and cause further complications.

Read the label and follow the dosage instructions

The general rule is that you should never go beyond the dosage limitations. Taking more of something doesn’t mean it’s going to be more effective. If the label says you should only take one pill in a day, then take only one pill a day. Don’t go beyond because that’s when you potentially overdose yourself.

Identify the purpose of the medication

Looking at the product’s category will help you determine if it’s the right medication for your current condition or illness. The most common categories today include antihistamines, antacids, and suppressants. If you’re not familiar what these categories entail, it’s best that you ask for clarifications from the pharmacist.


In conclusion, you should always be careful and alert when purchasing over the counter medications because your health and safety are at stake. Always make sure that you are buying the right medicines and that you are taking them at the recommended dosages. If in doubt, always seek advice from the pharmacist you are buying from.