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FAQs about health care
You can purchase over-the-counter medications, supplements, and first aid supplies through Instacart. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are those that are available for purchase without a prescription. Some examples of health care products you can purchase through Instacart are bandages, cough drops, pain medication, heating or cooling patches, antacids, allergy relief medication, cotton balls, vitamins, and ice packs.
Dietary supplements include a wide range of products, such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and herbs. If you don't eat certain foods, dietary supplements may help you get the nutrients you need to support your health. For example, if you don't eat fish, you may want to take fish oil supplements for the omega-3 acids.
Speaking to your health care provider is the best way to identify the optimum supplements for your personal needs. You might also speak with a pharmacist to discuss your needs. It's important to disclose all medications you're taking so your health care provider can make sure you don't select supplements that will interfere with your other drugs. For example, St. John's wort can make birth control pills less effective.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate supplements the same way that it regulates drugs. The FDA does not test or approve supplements before they hit the market and can only take action against a supplement manufacturer or distributor after a product on the market is found to be unsafe. For this reason, it's important to speak with a health care provider before you begin taking a new supplement.
Dietary supplements may help address a nutrient deficiency, reduce your risk of developing a health problem, and support your overall health and wellness. However, supplements are not intended to prevent, cure, mitigate, or treat diseases. You can get more information on various supplements from the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and the Federal Trade Commission. Do not attempt to self-diagnose any health problem. Seek professional medical advice instead.
When giving medication to a child, you should only use products that are formulated for that child's age range. For example, the FDA does not recommend medication for cold or cough symptoms for children under 2 years old. Aspirin should not be given to anyone under the age of 19 without first consulting a doctor. Check the label to determine which products are appropriate for children. Never give adult medication to a child.
When determining the appropriate dosage, it's best to go by your child's weight. Appropriate dosage information is available on the packaging of OTC medications. If you have any questions or concerns, call your pediatrician for further clarification.
Though OTC medications are easy to obtain, this doesn't mean they're not dangerous. OTC medications can present serious health risks if taken inappropriately. If you're taking other medications, you should always check for drug interactions before you take something new. Your pharmacist or health care provider can let you know if there are any drug interactions that you should be aware of. Alcohol can interact with many OTC medications, such as antihistamines, cough and cold medicine, or medications for sleeplessness.
Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the appropriate dosage with any type of medication. Do not take more than the recommended dose without consulting your health care provider. Store your medicine in a cool, dry place, and dispose of any medication that's past its expiration date.
Keep up your supply of essential health care items to ensure you can quickly address the situations that call for them. Instacart can help with all your over-the-counter health care needs.