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Review, Research & DecideEveryone knows the importance of the “right” choices regarding health care, the “right” health-care coverage with the “right” doctors at the “right” price. Increasingly, many Americans are choosing themselves as the healthcare provider of choice for simple ailments. This is known as “Self-care”. There have been studies conducted recently that indicate that a large number of Americans experience a medical problem or condition that can be self treated, on average, every 3 days. American parents are also choosing to self treat their children as well, they have an average of 5.5 OTC medications at home specifically for childhood diseases. Self Care Conditions On the Rise There has been a literal explosion of OTC medicines in this country over the past ten years. A large number of these medications were converted to OTC status from prescription only status. This has allowed Americans to effectively treat a large number of medical conditions that are considered low-risk. These conditions include: allergies, allergic rashes, heartburn and yeast infections. Self care allows consumers to receive appropriate relief while eliminating the cost of doctor visits and the previously high cost of prescriptions. The down side is that the amount of public knowledge concerning self treatment for these low-risk conditions is not keeping up with the influx of these medications. Avoiding the Void of Self Care Information While doctor visits are no longer needed in the safe and effective treatment of these conditions, the basics on the exact usage of the medications is not always clear. This advisory will help serve to fill this void of information.
- While there are a large number of home health care books and brochures available, they are often outdated as soon as they hit the market. This is mostly due to the inherent lag in book publishing. This advisory will be continually updated to provide the most recent information and recommendations.
- While the companies who produce these OTC medications focus on advertising these drugs, consumer information on the related conditions, their causes and the best method of obtaining relief is sparse. You can use this advisory as an essential source for this information.
- Physicians may be less knowledgeable on OTC medications since they focus on prescription drugs, even though OTC products are often as effective as their prescription counterparts. The focus of this advisory will be on the use of medications available off-the-shelf to relieve self treatable conditions as well as when to see a physician.
- Pharmacists are well informed in the availability and correct usage of OTC medications. But their training does not include diagnosis or treatment of minor conditions. This advisory will help guide you through the basics of self-care.
- Basics: In this section you will find the basics of the illness or condition, its causes and how to recognize when someone actually has the condition. Some basic anatomy and physiology is also included.
- Prevention: This section will outline the steps to avoid these illnesses and conditions if practical.
- Self-care Treatment: The many choices in OTC medications are reviewed in this section, along with non-medical treatment advice. Not all of the OTC medicines available to the public have been proven safe and/or effective by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration. How effective the medications work and when to use them will be explained as well.
- Knowing when to see a professional. Self care and time will be sufficient to obtain relief from most of the topics discussed in this advisory. Unfortunately, simple ailments can become serious despite the best of care and medicines. Knowing when to go see a professional healthcare provider is as important as the knowledge contained in this advisory, so you will also find guidelines in this particular section on when to seek professional help.