A pharmaceutical drug is defined as medication used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure an illness or disease. A pharmaceutical drug can also be referred to as a drug, medication, or medicine and includes countless types of drugs that are used in various aspects of healthcare. Pharmaceutical drugs are used worldwide and considered an integral part of the healthcare system.
Around the world and according to the various laws of each country, pharmaceutical drugs are typically classified into 2 different types. This includes over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescription only medications (POM). OTC drugs can be purchased without a prescription or doctor recommendation, while POM drugs require a prescription from a licensed doctor or physician.
Over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs are widely available and can help with pain including: headache, muscle aches and pain, joint pain, sprains, and more. Common OTC pharmaceutical drugs include:
Prescription only medications are used to treat several different physical and psychological problems and illnesses. Prescription pharmaceutical drugs are used to treat chronic illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, as well as conditions such as depression, anxiety, and cancer. Prescription drugs are commonly prescribed for pain management, as well as in the treatment of addiction. Common POM pharmaceutical drugs include:
There are several side effects associated with prescription drugs of all types, ranging from mild to severe. Some side effects are more common, while others only happen to a select number of individuals.
Common side effects of over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs include:
There are also several side effects associated with countless prescription pharmaceutical drugs. These can include:
More serious side effects that can occur with prescription pharmaceutical drugs include:
There are several pharmaceutical drugs that are commonly abused, with many posing risk for dependency and addiction. Commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs include opioids, stimulants, benzodiazepines, non-prescription cold medications, and more. Some of these include:
How Many Drugs has FDA Approved in its Entire History? New Paper Explains, Alexander Gaffney, RAC, RUPS
Prescription Drugs & Cold Medicines, National Institude on Drug Abuse
Over-the-counter medicines, Medline Plus