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Over the Counter Medicines (OTC)

People can buy medicine over the counter at a pharmacy, supermarket or shop.

Always Read the Label

People should always read the label on medicines and follow the instructions. Most medicines have information leaflets which give advice on side effects, dosage and what other medications should not be taken at the same time.

It is possible to overdose from taking too many over the counter medicines at the same time.

Medicines like paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen and cough mixtures can be bought over the counter, but there are strict rules about who can buy and use these. In Scotland, for example, you have to be over 16 to buy paracetamol, but you don’t have to be as old as 16 to take them.