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Word Count: 923
All Medicines whether obtained over the counter or on prescription are drugs The fact that they are legally and freely available doesnt mean that they are always beneficial to health One of the major drug problems in our community today is the misuse of prescribed and over the counter medicines Non-prescription pain relievers are analgesics that can be bought without a doctors order prescription Non-prescription medicines can be dangerous if misused Because non-prescription medicines like many analgesics antihistamines and cold and flu remedies are easy to obtain people dont usually think of them as drugs But anyone who regularly takes non-prescription medicines is regularly taking a drug Analgesics are medicines that help to control pain and reduce fever Examples of analgesics that are available over the counter are aspirin paracetamol acetaminophen ibuprofen ketoprofen and naproxen sodium These medicines are generally safe when taken as directed However their heavy or long-term use can be dangerous even fatal The use of analgesics over a long period of time can lead to a variety of health problems including kidney and liver disorders anaemia and gastric ulcers It is important to realize that while helpful these medicines are not completely without risk and they should be used carefully Analgesics will not cure whatever is causing the pain prevent a headache stimulate you when you feel short of energy calm you down when you feel upset or help you to sleep Prescription drugs can be very dangerous if misused A significant number of commonly prescribed medications are addictive When a doctor prescribes a drug it is the patients responsibility to use it as advised and tell the doctor about any side-effects experienced Prescriptive medicines include drugs or substances used to prevent treat or diagnose a disease or disabling condition that can only be bought from a pharmacy after a doctor has written a prescription to the pharmacist The risks of improperly taking prescription drugs can include overdose
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