Over the Counter drugs, or OTC drugs, are any drug or medication which can be purchased legally without a prescription. OTC drugs or medicines treat various symptoms that people can suffer from, including illnesses, headaches, digestive issues, pain, inflammation, and many more.
Some OTC drugs have a potential for misuse because they contain ingredients that can produce a "high" at higher-than-recommended dosages. Many of these can even cause addiction. US consumers make around 26 trips per year to retail stores and pharmacies to purchase OTC medications, spending almost $350 annually. But they only visit physicians three times a year on average. OTC medications are utilized by people to address their healthcare issues, mainly to save costs and time. Due to their affordability and accessibility, they play a vital role in the country's healthcare system. But these same benefits have also become liabilities, making OTC drugs one of the most abused types, particularly among American youth.
The History of Over the Counter Drugs
Over the counter drugs are not something that "began" per se. Instead, virtually all drugs were OTC until they were made not so. Even more generally, there is no historical inception of over the counter medication. Instead, there is a point where drugs began being controlled, thus, giving birth to the term "Over-th