What does "OTC" mean?


According to MedlinePlus, "OTC" is an acronym for over-the-counter, indicating medications that someone can purchase without first having a prescription. OTC medications still pose health risks, particularly for people taking other medicines, people with specific medical conditions and for pregnant women.

MedlinePlus states that several different kinds of OTC medications are available, some of which cure diseases or prevent them and some of which help with management of chronic symptoms. OTC medications generally have a higher safety profile than prescription medications. According to Drugs.com, the OTC drug acetaminophen, found under brands like Tylenol, has produced liver toxicity in alcoholics and at regular therapeutic doses in patients who are not alcoholics.

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