Over the counter (OTC) drugs are medications which can be purchased without a prescription by general public. These drugs have been deemed safe enough for consumers to take on their own without the direct order from a physician.
Although OTC medications do not require a prescription, they are still monitored by the FDA for safety and efficacy. In fact, patients who take OTC drugs regularly or with other medications—prescription or otherwise—are urged to form a relationship with a pharmacist in order to prevent drug interactions.
Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs A – Z
Browse our index of Over-the-counter (OTC) drug information:
Aleve belongs to a class of drugs known as NSAIDs—or Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs. Its purpose is to reduce swelling throughout the body, provide pain relief, and bring down fevers.
A trade name of the generic drug fexofenadine, Allegra is an antihistamine that counteracts the actions of histamine in the body.
Asprin is a generic name, but it also the most common brand name for the drug. It is also available in brands such as Arthritis Pain, Aspir-Low, Bayer Asprin, Bufferin, Ecotrin, and others.
Benadryl, known generically as diphenhydramine, is a very common antihistamine available both over-the-counter and as a prescription injection.
Claritin (Loratadine) is generally used to treat allergies, it can also be used to treat runny nose and sneezing associated with the flu and the common cold.
DayQuil is a medicine made by Vicks, and it is intended to relieve the symptoms of the flu and common cold.
Famotidine, which also has been marketed the brand names - Pepcid and Pepcidine, works to inhibit the production of stomach acid.
Ibuprofen, which is more commonly marketed as Advil and Motrin, is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).
Maalox is a brand name antacid that contains magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. A combination of these two ingredients works to reduce or neutralize stomach acid.
Mucinex is a brand name form of the generic medication guaifenesin. It is available in tablet or capsule form, as an elixir, syrup, or as a solution; it is also available in extended or regular release varieties.
NyQuil is a brand name medication produced by Vicks, and it can be purchased over the counter to provide relief for many symptoms of the common cold or flu.
Paracetamol—also known as Panadol—is a widely used over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer.
Also known as pink bismuth or “the pink stuff,” Pepto-Bismol works by “coating” irritated stomach tissues, reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, and killing some of the bacteria that causes diarrhea.
Prevacid (lansoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that decreases stomach acid and effectively blocks the sites where acid is produced in the stomach.
Simethicone, a mixture of polydimethylsiloxane and hydrated silica gel, is an antifoaming agent that appears as the active ingredient in many gas relief medications.
Acetaminophen—known to many by the brand name Tylenol—is an over the counter pain reliever and fever reducer with mild anti-inflammatory properties.
Zantac, also known by the generic name ranitidine, is an H2 blocker that is available both by prescription and over the counter.
Cetirizine is the generic name for the brand name Zyrtec and is a medication that is used to treat moderate to severe allergies, cold symptoms or chronic hives.