The federal government authorizes physicians, psychiatrists, physician assistants , nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses , veterinarians, dentists, and optometrists to prescribe any controlled substance.
They are then issued unique Drug Enforcement Act numbers; many other mental and physical health technicians, including basic-level registered nurses , medical assistants , emergency medical technicians, most psychologists, and social workers, for example, do not have the authority to prescribe any controlled substance.
It is the federal drug law that regulates manufacture, importation, possession, use, and distribution of certain substances. The legislation classes substances into five schedules, with varying qualifications for each schedule. Misuse or abuse of prescription drugs can lead to adverse drug events, including those due to dangerous drug interactions. It also contains information about side effects, how a patient should take the drug, and cautions for its use, including warnings about allergies.
As a general rule, over-the-counter drugs OTC are used to treat a condition that does not need care from a healthcare professional if have been proven to meet higher safety standards for self-medication by patients. Often, a lower strength of a drug will be approved for OTC use, but higher strengths require a prescription to be obtained; a notable case is ibuprofen , which has been widely available as an OTC pain killer since the mids, but it is available by prescription in doses up to four times the OTC dose for severe pain that is not adequately controlled by the OTC strength.
Herbal preparations , amino acids , vitamins , minerals , and other food supplements are regulated by the FDA as dietary supplements. Because specific health claims cannot be made, the consumer must make informed decisions when purchasing such products. Drug companies, however, are prohibited from marketing their drugs for off-label uses. Large US retailers that operate pharmacies and pharmacy chains use inexpensive generic drugs as a way to attract customers into stores.
The maximum supply is for 30 days. Many prescription drugs are commonly abused, particularly those marketed as analgesics , including fentanyl Duragesic , hydrocodone Vicodin , oxycodone OxyContin , oxymorphone Opana , propoxyphene Darvon , hydromorphone Dilaudid , meperidine Demerol , and diphenoxylate Lomotil. Food and Drug Administration covered over drugs, prescription and over-the-counter. Drug expiration dates exist on most medication labels, including prescription, over-the-counter OTC and dietary herbal supplements.
For legal and liability reasons, manufacturers will not make recommendations about the stability of drugs past the original expiration date. To subsidize prescription drug costs, some patients have decided to buy medicine online. By switching to generic prescription drugs, patients can save significant amounts of money: These include copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.
The Medicaid Drug Rebate Program is another example. These medications can include drugs for HIV, hepatitis C, and multiple sclerosis. Patient Assistance Program Center RxAssist has a list of foundations that provide co-pay assistance programs. It is important to note that co-pay assistance programs are for the under-insured patients. Patients without insurance are not eligible for this resource, however they may be eligible for patient assistance programs. Patient assistance programs are funded by the manufacturer of the medication.
Patients can often apply to these programs through the manufacturer's website. This type of assistance program is one of the few options for the uninsured patient. It is a major resource to help lower costs of medications — however, many providers and patients are not aware of the resources. Environment[ edit ] Traces of prescription drugs — including antibiotics , anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been detected in drinking water.
However, processes, such as biomagnification , are potential concerns in impacting human health. The biological read across model combines the concepts of mechanism of action MoA and adverse outcomes pathway AOP. Currently, research is being done on various methods of reducing chemical waste in the environment.
In addition, the U. This aims to reduce the amount of pharmaceutical waste that gets into our sewage and landfills.