Many people prefer OTC products over prescription medications and home remedies. While occasional use of an OTC product may be harmless, depending on your particular situation, there can be dangers of taking OTC drugs all the time.
OTC Drugs Can Become A Habit
There is less likelihood of addiction to OTC drugs, but they can still be habit-forming. You can become dependent on the drug, and take it even when it is not necessary. You may find yourself taking the drug when you do not have symptoms, or to avoid symptoms. From OTC pain relievers to sleep aids, you can develop a habit.
Habitual Use Of OTC Drugs Can Harm Your Health
If you take OTC drugs consistently, it can cause health complications. As one example, if you take OTC laxatives regularly, it will start to interfere with your normal digestive processes. As a second example, frequent use of aspirin substitutes can harm your liver. Nearly any OTC drug can harm your health if you take it all the time.
OTC Drugs And Drug Interaction
Some people take the approach that if one OTC product is good, multiple OTC products are better. Even over-the-counter products can result in problems from drug interaction. If you also use prescription medication, the risk of drug interaction is even greater.
OTC Products Can Lose Their Effectiveness
Frequent use of OTC drugs can cause the drugs to be less effective. You may find yourself taking the drugs more often, or taking higher doses. If you take a higher dose than is recommended, you may become ill. From plain aspirin to laxatives, you may start to need more of the product to achieve results.
OTC Drugs Can Mask Serious Health Problems
Over-the-counter medications are meant for occasional use. They can relieve various symptoms and restore your health. However, if you find yourself relying on OTC drugs, the symptoms may be a sign of something more serious. You may be showing signs of a medical condition that requires professional treatment.
If you have an underlying condition, it is not in your best interest to simply relieve the symptoms with OTC drugs. Conditions can range from those that are easily treated to life-threatening health issues. Symptom relief should not be your main priority when you have a condition that could endanger your long-term health or your life.
OTC Drugs And Your Physician
If OTC drug use has become a habit, it is time to consult with your physician. Your doctor can perform an examination, evaluate your health, and recommend the treatment that is best for you.
It is in your best interest to have professional input if your use of OTC drugs has become excessive. You can avoid many unnecessary complications, and have the treatment that is right for your specific health issue.
Start by honestly assessing your use of over-the-counter drugs. If you find you are relying on a product on a regular basis, make an appointment with your doctor. It is the first, smartest step to better health.