Prescription Medications

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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This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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