(HealthyResearch.com) – For the first time since 2017, the FDA has approved a handful of new drugs for over-the-counter (OTC) use. This means there are new medications available to you without a doctor’s prescription. Check out what’s changed and see how these recently approved OTC drugs might benefit you.
Itchy, irritated eyes? Pataday is an allergy eye drop the FDA has approved to control allergies caused by pollen, ragweed, grass, pet dander and fur. It comes in two different formulations:
- Pataday Once Daily Relief (0.2% olopatadine formula) provides all-day eye itch relief with one drop.
- Pataday Twice Daily Relief (0.1% olopatadine formula), previously marketed as Patanol, gives fast relief from itchy, red eyes in two daily doses.
Pataday is the only available OTC eye drop formulated specifically for allergies. It works by blocking histamine production in the eyes. Fewer histamines mean less redness and irritation. This medication was originally available in 2008 with a doctor’s prescription.
The first topical NSAID to be approved for OTC arthritis treatment, Voltaren is different from other NSAIDs because you apply it straight to the source of your pain. And it’s not the same as other topical ointments — Voltaren treats pain with a prescription-strength anti-inflammatory, rather than merely masking it with a smelly counterirritant. The active ingredient is diclofenac sodium, which is in the same class as ibuprofen and naproxen. This medication has been available for over a decade with a prescription.
Oral NSAIDs can tear up the gut, a side effect you might be able to bypass by using a topical medication. The biggest drawback is joint accessibility since the medication doesn’t work systemically. The medication must penetrate through the skin and other tissues to reach joints. So joints surrounded by thick muscle may not get as much relief as those that are closer to the skin.
OTC Drugs: Benefits and Precautions
Over-the-counter medications are considered safe because they’ve undergone FDA-approval twice to get there: once to become available as prescription drugs, and a second time to become an OTC product. Over-the-counter medications are usually priced more reasonably and are more accessible because there is no time lost waiting for a prescription to be filled.
Be sure to follow the label instructions on all OTC medications, taking them only as directed. Check the warnings, drug facts and other information on the label before starting any new medication. Taking too much or not enough of any drug can lead to undesired and possibly even dangerous side effects.
Even though it may have taken several years, these medications are now OTC options. All three appear to be worthwhile new additions, giving us topical alternatives for both allergies and arthritis pain, and that’s a huge win. Check them out and see what they can do for you.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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