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How Do We Know Prescription Drugs Are Safe?

Doctor writing many medicine prescriptions
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Doctor writing many medicine prescriptionsHave you wondered about how certain medications are prescribed, and how this process is conducted in a safe way? As a source of prescription medication, as well as over-the-counter (OTC) and Generic Alternative medications, we would love to share a behind-the-scenes look at prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can also be referred to as RX (or RX-only) or legend drugs. Read below to learn about prescription medication. How Is a Product Determined as Prescription? In the United States, it is the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that is used to determine whether a product needs an official prescription from a professional or not. The people authorized to give prescriptions are physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, optometrists, veterinarians, and possibly physician assistants if overseen by a physician. How Are Prescription Drug Prices Set? Most countries will have their prescription drug prices set by the government, but the United States do not have governmental control on medication prices. As a result, American prescription medication prices tend to be more expensive than other countries that do have regulated prices.  For people who do not have good health insurance, this can be a major point of stress. The financial strain of high-priced medication can be crippling for people without help from health insurance who would have to pay the full amount out of pocket. This is especially true for patients treating a chronic condition who would need consistent medication. How Do We Know Prescription Drugs are Safe? Medicine pillsIn the US, prescription drug safety and standards are in accordance to the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987, and is overseen by the Food and Drug Administration. For example, one of the features about packaging being required due to the Act is that prescription products need to list their allergy risks. Prescription medications come with product information, including allergy warnings or other important warnings. Your medicine should also come with information about the effects of the product, and what results you can expect. What’s the Difference Between Prescription and Non-Prescription Meds? Non-prescription medicine is referred to as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, and they are medications used for conditions that do not need the supervision of a doctor, such as a cold or seasonal allergy. These OTC medications have been proven to be safe for self-medication. There are types of drugs, like ibuprofen, that have a lower-dosage version approved for OTC availability, while higher dosage versions are available with prescription for more severe pain. Vitamins, herbal products, and supplements are not accountable to the FDA, so you should do research on these types of products if you are not familiar with them. In the end, you can always talk to your doctor or pharmacist to learn about the pros and cons of any medication being recommended for you. Keep in dialogue with your medical professionals to keep them informed of how you are responding to treatment, and how to find the best dosages and products to improve your health.

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