When it comes to vitamins, supplements, and herbs, it's important to remember that they don't go through the same testing process as over-the-counter medicines. Even though they may come in similar packages and look like pills, they are not considered to be the same as OTC drugs. This is something to keep in mind when taking your daily multivitamin, fish oil capsule, or probiotic. These products are not meant to cure any diseases or ailments; they are only taken to supplement or reinforce the need for nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Dietary supplements are products that are intended to supplement the diet.
They are not medicines and are not meant to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure diseases. The FDA is the federal agency that oversees both supplements and drugs, but the FDA rules for dietary supplements are different from those for prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Depending on the distribution channel, dietary supplements can be found in pharmacies, grocery stores, vitamin and health food stores, online pharmacies, and other places. According to their category, they can be divided into vitamin and dietary supplements, cough products and cold remedies, pain relievers, gastrointestinal products, sleeping pills, optical products, wart removers, oral care products, ophthalmic products, botanicals, antacids, smoking cessation products, feminine care products, and more. The global market for dietary supplements and OTC drugs is driven by increased awareness of general health issues and advances in the pharmaceutical and health industries. These tests should be done with all medicines - including those sold without a prescription or “OTC” (without a prescription).
Popular supplements include vitamins D and B12; minerals such as calcium and iron; herbs such as echinacea and garlic; and products such as glucosamine, probiotics and fish oils. For example, too much vitamin A can cause headaches and liver damage; reduce bone strength; and cause birth defects. Manufacturers can also add vitamins, minerals and other supplement ingredients to the foods you eat - especially cereals and breakfast drinks. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications & dietary supplements are medicines that can be purchased at any pharmacy, health store or through an online channel. In addition to vitamins, dietary supplements may contain minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, enzymes, and many other ingredients.