A prescription medication is a type of medication that requires a prescription from a licensed medical professional before it can be obtained through a pharmacy. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs can be obtained without a prescription.
Prescription drugs are often dispensed together with a Medication Guide that gives detailed information about the drug.
In general, prescription medications may be prescribed by physicians, dentists, optometrists, and advanced practice nurses. Basic-level registered nurses, medical assistants, emergency medical technicians, most psychologists, and social workers do not have the authority to prescribe medications.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for overseeing the approval process for new drugs and ensuring that they are marketed appropriately to professionals and consumers.
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Last updated: 5/14/2022