Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are drugs you can buy without a prescription.
It is very important to read the label when using OTC drugs. It is the only way to know how to use the drug the right way.
FDA passed a law about labels on OTC drugs. The law says that all OTC products must have a new label called "Drug Facts." This label will show people the best, safest way to use OTC drugs.
How is the new label different?
- It will use common words that are easy to understand.
- The print will be bigger, making it easier to read.
- The label will look the same, and be in the same place, on every product.
What will be on the label?
- Active ingredients--what is in the product that makes it work
- Purposes--what the drug is for
- Uses --what problems it is used to treat
- Warnings--who should not take the product, problems to watch out for
- Directions--how much to take, when to take it
- Inactive Ingredients--what else is in the product. People can see if they are allergic to something in the product.
How will the new label help me?
- It will help you compare products and choose the best one for your illness.
- The product will work its best because you can use it the right way.
- You will have all the information you need to stay away from problems.
To learn more:
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
or 1-888-463-6332 (1-888-INFO-FDA)