Prescription Medication Types and How to Know if Your Drug Requires Prescription

Prescription drugs are only available in regular and certified online pharmacies. A prescription by a doctor for the corresponding agent is a prerequisite for the purchase of a prescription drug. Prescription or Rx drugs can only be purchased with a prescription. The basis for a medication prescription is the diagnosis of a doctor. This can be provided personally by a doctor or online.

Depending on the diagnosis, an attending doctor prescribes medication and gives a patient a prescription for the corresponding medication. This prescription can then be redeemed at a pharmacy or door-to-door delivered. Prescription drugs are always pharmacy-only.

When Does Medication Require a Prescription?

A drug is classified as prescription only if the drug requires medical supervision. This is the case if the drug:

  • can endanger health or even life of a patient due to improper or overdosed use;
  • is frequently misused to a significant extent and this abuse directly or indirectly endangers health (e.g. opiate);
  • contains active ingredients that are new to the market and the effects of which are not yet generally known in medical science. Medicines that are new to the market are usually subject to the prescription requirement. In this way, a new drug can be checked and monitored by a doctor for a certain period of time. If it is sufficient safety, a drug can be released from the prescription and a “switch” takes place. The reverse case is called “re-switch”;
  • contains very large amounts of an active ingredient in one dose (example paracetamol: 500 mg tablets are available from pharmacies, 1000 mg tablets are available from prescription)

Which Meds Are Prescription-Only Drugs?

As already mentioned, all medications that require medical supervision are available on prescription. Known prescription drugs include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidiabetic drugs
  • Cancer therapeutics
  • Narcotics (e.g. strong pain relievers, cannabis-based medicines)
  • Sexual enhancers (e.g. Viagra)

1. Antibiotics

Antibiotics are a special group of drugs, the sale of which should be regulated at the legislative level. This is due to a certain number of factors. So, for example, the world health society is largely concerned about the fact that citizens of many countries have begun to use antibiotics uncontrollably. This contributes to habituation and new development of immune system in such a way that antibiotics simply cease to act and fulfill their direct function. Among other things, antibiotics disrupt the functioning of various organs in organism and adversely affect liver, kidneys and stomach. There is a separate list of drugs belonging to the group of antibiotics that are dispensed in pharmacies only on doctor’s recommendation. A pharmacist has no right to dispense such drugs without a prescription which are as follows: Doxycycline, Tetracycline (tablets), Amoxicillin, Clavulanic acid, Cephalexin, Benzathine benzylpenicillin, Cefuroxime, Sulfasalazine, Clarithromycin, Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole (tablets), Benzyl benzoate, Mitomycin.

2. Antidiabetic drugs

These drugs belong to the following groups: biguanide group, sulfonylurea group, clinid group, thiazolidinedione group, group of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, group of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors (DPP4), group of glucone peptide-1 agonists, group of inhibitors of sodium-glucose-cotransporter type 2 inhibitors.

3. Cancer therapeutics

Let us consider the groups of most demanded medications for cancer.

  • Alkylating agents

These anti-cancer drugs break down the proteins responsible for the formation of cancer cell DNA. The most common drugs in this group are drugs based on the active substance cyclophosphamide.

  • Platinum preparations. This noble metal is toxic. Platinum preparations have the same effect as alkylating agents, namely, they destroy the DNA of cancer cells. Cytostatic agents of an alkylating type of action are widely used to treat cancer.
  • They act on the genetic apparatus of the cell, killing it during division. The most well-known antimetabolites are gemcitabine-based drugs.
  • These drugs form free radicals that damage the DNA of diseased cells. The most famous representatives of the anthracycline group are drugs with the active substance daunorubicin.
  • Taxanes disrupt the division of cancer cells. Paclitaxel-based drugs are the most common in this group.
  • Vincalcaloids destroy the cytoskeleton of cancer cells, which leads to their death. Relate to mild chemotherapy, as cancer cells are much more sensitive to the effects of this drug than healthy ones. In this group, funds are allocated with the active substances vinblastine and vincristine.

4. Sexual enhancers

Potency drugs such as Viagra (Sildenafil), Cialis (Tadalafil) or Priligy (Dapoxetine) require a prescription and for good reason. If there are special underlying diseases such as cardiovascular diseases or hypotension (low blood pressure) behind the erectile dysfunction, it is strongly advised not to take PDE5 inhibitors, i.e. Viagra, Cialis and Priligy. Potency drugs can damage health in special underlying diseases or, in extreme cases, become life-threatening. A medical diagnosis and a prescription are therefore a basic requirement to be able to buy erectile dysfunction and take it safely.

How Do I Recognize Prescription Drugs?

In Canada, prescription drugs (Rx preparations/drugs) are marked as such on the packaging. In the pharmacy, they are located in a shielded area to which customers have no access – i.e. in the drawers or in the pharmacy warehouse. Without a prescription, pharmacists are not allowed to issue prescription drugs. An exception exists if the pharmacist contacts the customer’s doctor – e.g. by phone – reinsured.

Can I Buy Prescription Drugs Online?

You can and may order prescription medicines online from licensed mail order pharmacies. A prerequisite is – as in the pharmacy around the corner – a valid prescription. This can be sent in paper form to the mail-order pharmacy by post or electronically issued by an online doctor and passed on to the mail-order pharmacy. As soon as the pharmacy has received the prescription, the order will be processed and you will receive the medicine by post within a few days.

You should pay attention to this when buying prescription medication online. Seriousness is the be-all and end-all when buying medicines online. But how do you recognize serious suppliers?

  • Prescription requirement: reputable and licensed online pharmacies naturally adhere to the prescription requirement. This means that when buying a prescription drug, the provider either requires a valid prescription from the doctor or offers an online diagnosis.
  • Information: Reputable providers are transparent. An imprint with information about the operator and the mail-order pharmacy are a must.
  • Customer service: the possibility of direct customer contact – for example via chat or telephone – says a lot about the reliability of the provider. If there is no way to make direct contact, you should keep your hands off the provider! Especially since you can clarify important questions about the delivery and the effect and taking of the drug in customer service.
  • Payment options: Ideally, there are several payment options to choose from. In particular, the option of purchase on account creates security and trust.

That’s Why You Shouldn’t Buy Prescription Drugs without a Prescription

If you buy a prescription-only drug without a prescription, both you and the retailer commit legal offenses. But this crime is usually not even the biggest problem: Often, illegally acquired medication is an inferior counterfeit, for which neither effectiveness nor quality and safety are guaranteed. In the best case, these preparations do not work at all – however, they can also be contaminated and contain unapproved active ingredients that harm health or (in the worst case) are life-threatening. In addition, a large part of such illegal drugs is confiscated at customs, so that many customers never get their goods from dubious providers.

When is a Drug Compulsory?

Prescription of a drug is no longer necessary and is subject to a pharmacy if it can be taken without medical supervision and advice in the pharmacy about the effects and side-effects of the drug is sufficient. Medicines that are available from pharmacies certainly have a proven pharmaceutical effect, but according to the Ministry of Health, they may only have a “justifiable or known” extent of side effects.

When is Medication available Over-the-Counter?

Pharmaceuticals are no longer compulsory if the product is not suitable for curing or eliminating serious illnesses, ailments, bodily harm or pathological symptoms or if the product is only intended for other purposes.