over the counter

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Pharmacists Will Prescribe Birth Control in 2 States

Women in California and Oregon just have to undergo a quick screening

(Newser) - More than half of the 6.6 million pregnancies in the US each year are unplanned, according to the Guttmacher Institute . Oregon and California policymakers are trying to buck that trend with what the New York Times calls "groundbreaking" new laws that would allow birth control to be doled... More »

FDA: Acne Meds Can Cause Life-Threatening Reactions

Warning issued for over-the-counter products

(Newser) - In rare cases, common over-the-counter acne products can cause severe and sometimes life-threatening allergic reactions, the FDA warns. Reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, and collapse, and almost half of those who reported severe symptoms required hospitalization, reports USA Today . The agency says it has had only 131 cases of... More »

FDA: Tylenol Can Cause Rare Skin Diseases

Still, it's not recommending consumers switch to another pain reliever

(Newser) - The FDA is warning consumers that acetaminophen—the active ingredient in Tylenol—can cause rare skin diseases characterized by rashes, blisters, and, very occasionally, extreme damage to the skin's surface. The agency hastened to add that it wasn't advising that everyone abandon acetaminophen in favor of another pain... More »

Make Birth Control Over the Counter

The pill is as safe as everything else in the drug store: Virginia Postrel

(Newser) - The controversy over oral contraceptives raises one obvious question: Why the heck aren't they available over the counter? "True, making the pill available over the counter could reduce the amount of outrage and invective available for entertaining radio audiences," Virginia Postrel of Bloomberg quips. "But the... More »

Pfizer Hopes to Sell Lipitor Over the Counter

But FDA is leery about letting people use statins on their own

(Newser) - Pfizer hopes to sell an over-the-counter version of its popular cholesterol drug Lipitor, the Wall Street Journal reports. But first it will have to convince a skeptical FDA, which is wary about letting people use such statins without a doctor's supervision. Pfizer loses the patent on Lipitor in November,... More »

Should We Sell the Pill Over the Counter?

Will it be safe? and other questions

(Newser) - More and more women, health workers, and advocates are pushing to make birth control pills an over-the-counter medicine, leading Meredith Melnick to take a thorough look at what's giving the decade-old movement steam and the many questions surrounding it, for Newsweek . Advocates are latching on to new research that shows... More »

Sell the Pill Over the Counter

It's time to end the prescription-only rule

(Newser) - After 50 years, it's time to start selling birth control pills over the counter, writes Kelly Blanchard. "The pill" has proven to be a safe, simple, and essential tool for women's contraception, but the prescription-only barrier limits its usefulness, she writes in the New York Times . It's not just... More »

Cold Sore Drugs Could Treat Alzheimer's

(Newser) - British researchers have firmed up a link between cold sores and Alzheimer's disease, the Times of London reports. The virus behind the sores apparently helped cause Alzheimer's in 60% of cases studied, which may mean that common antiviral drugs can stop the disease. “If we are right, there is... More »

Pill Guards Against Ovarian Cancer: Study

Even decades later, oral contraceptive provides protection

(Newser) - Oral contraceptives "confer powerful and long-lasting protection" against ovarian cancer, a cancer that often proves deadly because it's so difficult to diagnose early, a new study has found. The effect is so strong that women who take the pill for 10 years will enjoy significant protection against ovarian cancer... More »

FDA May Ease Rx Drug Sales

Agency considers 'behind-the-counter' drug sales by pharmacists

(Newser) - The federal Food and Drug Administration may allow more drugs to be sold by pharmacists without a prescription if they are kept behind the counter off display shelves. The FDA  announced a hearing next month to explore the "public health benefit of drugs being available without a prescription but... More »

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