Over-the-Counter (OTC)

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, medications which can be obtained without a prescription, account for over 50% of calls to the NJ Poison Control Center related to medications. OTC medications include everything from cough and cold preparations to pain and fever reducers. OTC medications can be just as, if not more, dangerous than some prescription medications. When not used in the appropriate manner, OTC medications have been associated with many side effects. For example, too much acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol and other pain relievers/fever reducers) has been associated with liver disease (sometimes fatal). Antihistamines which are used for allergies can cause sedation, confusion, agitation, and even seizures when overdosed or used inappropriately.

OTC medications are sometimes abused by teenagers. Are your teenagers getting high from the OTC medications you have in your home?

It is important to keep all OTC medications out of the reach of children and pets by placing them in a lockable medicine cabinet or container.

If you have questions about appropriate dose, drug interactions or potential abuse of OTC medications, remember help is just a phone call away. 800-222-1222.