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What does over-the-counter (OTC) medicine mean?

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These are medications you can get without a prescription from a doctor. Some good choices for pain relief are acetaminophen or NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, and naproxen.

Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs can lower your fever and ease muscle aches. Some people find that one medicine works better for them than another.

Many OTC cold medicines have either acetaminophen or ibuprofen in them.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold: Treatment."

Mayo Clinic: "Common Cold."

Medline Plus: "Flu," "Common Cold," "Pain Relievers."

MedicineNet: "Pain Management: Over-the-Counter."

WebMD: "Kids' Cold Medicines: New Guidelines."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on September 9, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: "Common Cold: Treatment."

Mayo Clinic: "Common Cold."

Medline Plus: "Flu," "Common Cold," "Pain Relievers."

MedicineNet: "Pain Management: Over-the-Counter."

WebMD: "Kids' Cold Medicines: New Guidelines."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on September 9, 2019

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How do over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicines work?

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