Affordable Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centres UK
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What are Over-the-Counter Drugs

What are Over-the-Counter Drugs

What are Over the counter drugs

What are Over-the-Counter Drugs

What are Over-the-Counter Drugs. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medications that can be purchased without a prescription from a healthcare provider. These drugs are generally considered safe when used as directed, but misuse or abuse of these drugs can have serious health consequences.

OTC drugs that are commonly abused include:

  • Cough and cold medicines containing dextromethorphan (DXM): DXM is a cough suppressant that can produce hallucinations, euphoria, and dissociative effects when taken in high doses.
  • Pain relievers containing acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These drugs can cause liver and kidney damage when taken in excessive amounts.
  • Stimulants, such as caffeine pills or weight loss supplements: These drugs can cause insomnia, nervousness, and heart problems when taken in high doses.

OTC drug abuse can have serious health consequences, including:

  • Addiction: Misuse or abuse of OTC drugs can lead to physical dependence and addiction.
  • Organ damage: Some OTC drugs, such as pain relievers, can cause liver and kidney damage when taken in high doses.
  • Psychosis: Abuse of DXM can cause psychotic symptoms, such as paranoia and hallucinations.
  • Death: Overdose of OTC drugs can be fatal, especially when taken in combination with other drugs or alcohol.

Treatment for OTC drug abuse may include behavioural therapy, counselling, and medication-assisted treatment. It is important to seek professional help from a healthcare provider or addiction specialist if you or someone you know is struggling with OTC drug abuse.

What are Over-the-Counter Drugs Abuse (OTC) Street Terms: Poor man’s X, dex, robo, tussin, robo trip, (any over-the-counter medication containing DXM) triple Cs or CCC: (coricidin), SIZ’zurp; purple Drank (cough syrup)

Over the counter drugs

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are medications that can be purchased at a pharmacy, grocery, or convenience store without a prescription to treat the symptoms of common colds or pains, such as a headache. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined that these medications have medical benefits for common ailments and are safe for general consumption if taken exactly as prescribed by the packaging. However, all drugs, including over-the-counter medications, change the body’s function or chemistry from its natural state and can be harmful if they are not taken as directed. For example, the common painkiller Ibuprofen (more commonly known as Advil®) can cause kidney damage if taken for prolonged periods or in excessive dosages.


As is the case with any drug, overdoses from over-the-counter medications, can occur. One type of over-the-counter medication that is especially dangerous when abused is Dextromethorphan (DXM), which is found in many types of cough syrup. From 1999 to 2004, there was a seven-fold increase in cases of poisoning and overdoses related to the abuse of DXM reported to poison control centers nationwide. Most of these were among 15- and 16-year-olds. An overdose on overthe-counter drugs can vary greatly, depending on what other drugs they are mixed with, the amount of drugs taken, how quickly they are taken, and the individual’s body chemistry. Some over-the-counter drugs can even cause death if used incorrectly. The only safe way to take over-the-counter medications is to do so exactly as directed by a doctor or as directed on the packaging and to treat the symptoms for which they are intended.

Contact us – What are Over-the-Counter Drugs

It is hard living with an addiction. If you would like any help or advice on addiction, or just advice on over the counter drugs. Call our team  now on Tel: 07811 606 606 (24 hours) and we will be glad to help you. 

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