Millions of Americans use over-the-counter medicines; in fact, about 35% of Americans use OTC medications on a regular basis. A recent national survey of 2,038 U.S. adults suggests that many Americans are not in touch with the risks associated with OTC medications, and don't feel compelled to review OTC drug facts labels carefully. As I have discussed on this blog previously, excessive medication use (regardless of whether they are prescription or OTC) can be dangerous.
Some of the survey’s key findings include:
- 2 in 5 respondents believe that OTC dosing instructions are suggestions, not directions
- While all age groups find it important to read the label on OTCs they are taking for the first time, significantly more millennials say it is still important to read the label on OTCs they have taken before (82%), whereas only 54% of older Americans over age 70 agree
- 75% of those over age 50 believe that it's not possible to overdose on an OTC medication
- 25% of respondents feel it's ok to not read the drug facts label if they've taken the medicine before
On the brighter side, some consumers are doing a little better than others at taking OTC medicines as directed and these...