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Over The Counter

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medicines that can be purchased without a prescription from a healthcare professional, in contrast to prescription drugs, which require a valid prescription. These drugs are typically regulated by a governmental agency to ensure that they are safe and effective for use without medical supervision. 

The active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is usually what is regulated, rather than the final product, which provides manufacturers with the flexibility to formulate their own proprietary combinations. 

To be considered OTC, a drug must primarily treat a condition that does not require direct medical supervision, be proven to be safe and well-tolerated, and have minimal potential for abuse. However, in some regions, drugs such as codeine may still be available OTC, but with strict limitations, such as required paperwork or identification.


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