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What prescriptions offer that over-the-counter remedies don't

By definition, a prescription medication has been approved by the FDA. This means that an independent, third-party has evaluated the drug. There are three dimensions that the FDA validates.

Efficacy: prescription drugs work. They've been scientifically demonstrated to have the impact that they claim by doctors, scientists, and regulatory agencies.

Safety: they are safe in humans. If they have side effects, they are documented, known and manageable in the context of appropriate clinical use. There are no "surprises."

Purity: pharmaceutical compounds, and the pharmacies is use them create them, are heavily regulated: the ingredients are pure. You get what is prescribed, and only what is prescribed. 

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