National Consumers League


Hot Topics in Health

Behind-the-counter drug class good for consumer

Consumers today are taking a more active role in their health care and self-diagnosing and self-medicating with over the counter medications, as well as dietary supplements and herbals. Historically NCL has been in favor of a "behind-the-counter" drug class to increase patient access to those medications they can safely use, after consultation with a pharmacist, to self-treat conditions they can self-diagnose. A BTC class would expand the range of conditions that patients can self-treat without spending time or money on a doctor’s visit. NCL's Rebecca Burkholder recently testified before the Food and Drug Administration about why and how NCL would support a new BTC class of drugs.

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What are drug interactions?

When one drug interacts or interferes with another, this changes the way one or both of the drugs work in the body and can cause unexpected, and sometimes dangerous, side effects.

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OTC pain relievers and pregnancy

If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, ask your doctor or nurse before taking any medication (OTC or prescription). It is especially important not to use aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium during the last three months of pregnancy unless directed to do so by a doctor, because these medicines may cause problems in the unborn child, or complications during delivery.

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