When Over the Counter Medications Are Not Enough

Doctor Discussing Over the Counter Medications

From the common cold to headaches, muscle aches, and more, countless individuals rely on over the counter medications to help manage symptoms and ailments that may result from sickness, injuries, surgeries, and more.

Over the counter drugs can range from pain-relievers to cold medications and everything in between. Some of the most common over the counter medications include substances that help for heartburn or other gastrointestinal distress, PMS symptoms, allergies, migraines, congestion, cough, sinus infection, chronic pain, runny nose, and wounds.

Appropriate Use of Over the Counter Medications

While over the counter medications may be helpful in managing common ailments and saving a trip to the doctors, what is the most effective use of these substances?

She needs an expert advice.

It is likely to have more than one over the counter medication stored in a medicine cabinet or drawer at home and frequently take these substances as needed, but taking caution with how over the counter medications are used can help prevent adverse side effects.

Many people may not realize that even over the counter substances can react with other products or substances, including other drugs and medications, herbal remedies, vitamins, minerals and more.

If you are considering the use of a over the counter substance to help address side effects or symptoms you are facing, you may want to check with your doctor to determine what is most appropriate for you.

Because of the accessibility of over the counter drugs, it is easy to “self-diagnose” and purchase something based on what you think may work best. However, this may not be the safest way to go about using over the counter substances.

Knowing When You Are in Need of Greater Support

Sometimes, symptoms and ailments are the result of an underlying disease or condition that should be appropriately addressed by a physician.

If you have been taking an over the counter substance per the recommendation of the medication and have not noticed any improvement, you may consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor to determine if something else is at hand.

Increasing the frequency or dosage of an over the counter medication is not a remedy for treating symptoms, and you may be in need of a prescription medication or other course of treatment.

Crystal Karges photo

About the Author: Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope, where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.

As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work with EDH/AH and nutrition private practice.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 14, 2016
Published on AddictionHope.com

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter Ekern is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He contributed and helped write a major portion of Addiction Hope and is responsible for the operations of the website.