OTC Drug Labels Revised

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are available without a prescription and can be taken without seeing a physician. These medications are available to treat minor illnesses and problems, and caution should be exercised when choosing the appropriate remedy. Due to past confusion, the Food and Drug Administration has issued regulations on how the labels of OTC medications should be organized. OTC drug labels will contain the following information sections to help make choices easier: active ingredients, uses, warning, inactive ingredients, purpose, directions, and other information. Directions will include precise information on how to use the product, and warnings will advise individuals with special conditions or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The other informationsection will state how to store the product and give any other information needed regarding the ingredients. The label will also contain expiration date, lot or batch numbers, name and address of the manufacturer, quantity in the package, and information for cases of overdose. It is important to take time and carefully read each OTC label to ensure that the correct product is chosen and that the directions are followed. If you have trouble reading or interpreting the information provided on the OTC label, consult your pharmacist for assistance.