Types of Medication

Basic medication categories: Medication can be divided into several categories. In a residential care setting all resident medication requires a physician order. This includes any medication purchased without a prescription.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicines: OTC drugs are available at pharmacies, supermarkets and other retail stores without a prescription. Like prescription drugs, they are safe when used according to package direction or when following a medical professional’s recommendations. Examples of OTC: Aspirin sleep aids and cough syrup. In residential care any non prescription item still requires a physicians order to be on file in the residents records.

Prescription Medicines: Prescription medicines are pharmaceutical preparations that can only be obtained through a physicians order and that are dispensed by a pharmacist. Prescription medicines can be divided into 2 categories: Controlled Substance Medications and Non-Controlled Substance Medications.

Controlled Substances: Drugs which has been declared by federal or state law to be illegal for sale or use, but may be dispensed under a physician’s prescription. The basis for control and regulation is the danger of addiction, abuse, physical and mental harm (including death), the trafficking by illegal means, and the dangers from actions of those who have used the substances. See chart of controlled substances.

Non-controlled Substance Medications: Non-controlled substance medications are prescribed to treat medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Prescriptions for non-controlled substances are not subject to some of the same limitations as controlled substance prescriptions.