Ask a doctor about OTC medicines

Make the most of your visits with your doctor or nurse practitioner

When recommending a medicine for you, a healthcare professional considers your symptoms, age, health conditions (past and present), medications, and more. Make the most of your next visit by taking these steps:

  • Make a list of the medications and other supplements you are currently taking. These include OTC and prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements

  • Prepare a list of questions

Questions about OTC pain relievers

If you are unsure which pain medication may be right for you, or how to use it safely, here are some questions to ask your healthcare professional:

  • Which OTC pain reliever may be right for me based on my health conditions, age, or other medicines?

  • Do the other medicines I am taking have the same ingredient?

  • Could it interact with my other medicines or vitamins?

  • What are the possible side effects?

  • What should I do if my symptoms don’t go away?

Comparing Pain Medicines

OTC pain medication: What you need to know*

Understand the differences between 2 main types of pain relievers

Not all OTC pain medicines are appropriate for everyone

Alliance for Aging Research. Used with permission. All rights reserved.