Think before you drink: Interactions between alcohol and OTC medicines
The access to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines offers a convenient way for patients to be actively involved in their own health and self-treatment of certain illnesses. The range of medicines available OTC, however, is more restricted compared to prescribed medication, and additional restrictions such as indications, doses and duration of treatment are often placed on these medicines. There is a tendency for the public to perceive OTC medicines as safer due to their being easily accessible but it must be stressed that, like all medicines, OTC medicines have the potential for harm, misuse, abuse and also may have the potential for addiction and dependency. In addition, OTC medicines can interact with other medicines as well as substances such as alcohol. This article will focus on the interactions between alcohol and OTC medicines.