What Do You Really Know About Over-the-Counter Medicines?

Just because a medicine available without a prescription doesn't mean it's safe to take, the FDA says. Take this quiz and learn the ins and outs of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines.

1. How are prescription medicines different from OTC ones?
2. You should follow certain precautions when you self-treat with OTCs. What should you do?
3. Aspirin can cause problems with which of these conditions?
4. People allergic to aspirin may also be allergic to which other OTC(s)?
5. You can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines and other OTC medicines such as acetaminophen safely for how long before seeing a healthcare provider for a diagnosis?
6. Acetaminophen is less likely than aspirin to cause gastric distress, but an overdose of as little as 4 grams can lead to irreversible liver disease. Who is most at risk?
7. Antacids often are taken for digestive problems. What is the greatest danger?
8. Older adults are especially vulnerable to the side effects of which of these OTCs?
9. Many OTC medicines for children come in liquid form. What is the best way to measure the dose?
10. What should you look for when you select an OTC medicine?
Online Medical Reviewer: Fraser, Marianne, MSN, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Hurd, Robert, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Pierce-Smith, Daphne, RN, MSN, CCRC
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2021
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