Many Americans Have Incomplete Knowledge About OTC Medicines
About 20 years ago, ibuprofen—the active ingredient found in both Advil and Motrin—was available to consumers only with a doctor’s prescription.
“OTC medications save the consumer time and money because they don’t have to go to the doctor every time they are sick,” says Kathy Johnson, Pharm.D., Ph.D., associate professor of clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical economics and policy at the USC School of Pharmacy. “But, it is important to understand that non-prescription drugs should be used with the same amount of caution as prescription drugs.”

Using OTC Drugs Safely
Although consumers read drug labels for dosing information, many don’t fully understand other important drug facts, such as the active ingredient (the therapeutic substance), possible side effects, drug interactions and risks if misused, according to research by the Consumer Health Education Center (CHEC), a new nonprofit resource dedicated to OTC safety.