11 Most Sold Non Prescription Drugs

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There are plenty of drugs you can buy without a prescription, so called OTC (over-the-counter) drugs, and we wanted to find out the most sold non prescription drugs? We already covered the Biggest Generic Drug Companies In The World, so you might want to check it out before reading this one.

Why people buy non prescription drugs so much? People want to have some drugs at home within reach so they don’t have to visit their doctor every time they have a headache or when they catch a cold. Pharmacies sell these drugs directly to customers. But sometimes consumers don’t even have to go to the pharmacies because there are plenty of stores and supermarkets that also sell these medications.

Most Sold Non Prescription Drugs


OTC drugs are usually bought for treating an illness without the involvement of the person’s doctor. In some cases, if the drug that patients take with prescription is reviewed as safe for the consumers, after a couple of years, it becomes an OTC medication. For example, loratadine (tricyclic antihistamine) was accessible only by prescription in the USA until 2002, when it was approved for over-the-counter selling.

Non prescription drugs are not only required for treatments of minor health problems such as a headache or cold, but also for constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, etc. Like most people you had probably taken some of the OTC drugs without even reading the list of ingredients or side-effects. We all do that, but we also know it is not the smart thing to do, because we may be sensitive to some of the drug’s ingredients without knowing it. So, if you buy these drugs for yourself or your family carefully read everything about the drug before taking it. Every OTC medication should have so called “Drug Facts” label, so the consumers are aware of every drug’s ingredient. You might want to be aware of the drug’s dosage, so don’t forget to ask your pharmacist everything that you need to know.

According to Consumer Healthcare Products Association consumers spent $31 billion for OTC drugs in America in 2014. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates production and sale of OTC medications and the Federal Trade Commission controls advertising of these products.

People usually buy generic drugs which are cheaper, but they would also rather buy the brand name drug. Experts say that those drugs are the same and the only reason the generics drugs are cheaper is because their producers don’t have to pay for developing the drug. Generic name is the official name of the medication and the brand name is a name chosen by the pharmaceutical company which developed it. When the patent protection of the product expires (usually it takes 20 years), generic drugs become available, because then any other pharmaceutical company may manufacture the drug.

Now let’s check out the most sold non prescription drugs (OTC sales figures from 2011 to 2014, Consumer Healthcare Products Association):

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