Definition of over the counter in English:

over the counter


  • 1By ordinary retail purchase, with no need for a prescription or licence.

    as modifier ‘over-the-counter medicines’
    • ‘They are advertised, marketed, and sold on the Internet, as well as over the counter in ordinary retail shops.’
    • ‘More than one in 10 children are at risk of having an adverse reaction to drugs bought over the counter, according to new research.’
    • ‘Since then, many forms of birth control have become widely available by prescription and over the counter.’
    • ‘There are several oral antihistamine medications available over the counter or on prescription.’
    • ‘Current prescription and over the counter drugs were recorded from containers at the participants' homes.’
    • ‘The drug became popular in Germany and because of the lack of acute toxicity it became available over the counter without prescription.’
    • ‘Is there any allergy medicine I can buy over the counter that won't affect my blood pressure or my prostate?’
    • ‘Well, now they have just been approved by the FDA to be purchased over the counter so that someone can have one at home.’
    • ‘Asking pharmacists to record details of over the counter purchases is anything but practical.’
    • ‘Coming up, they are common cold medicines that anyone can buy over the counter.’
    • ‘Drug companies have been switching successful prescription drugs over the counter for years.’
    • ‘Drugs that will improve cognition in healthy people are in the pipeline, but it could be years before you can buy them over the counter.’
    • ‘When purchasing goods over the counter there are certain rules and protocols to be aware of, but as yet no rules of engagement have been established online.’
    • ‘We also collected data on over the counter medications purchased and visits made to private practitioners.’
    • ‘When should a drug be sold over the counter instead of by prescription only?’
    • ‘Sudafed is also available over the counter, and other prescription products have made the switch as well.’
    • ‘Another reason may be that drugs in the United States are available only on prescription or over the counter.’
    • ‘A lot of people buy complementary medicines over the counter because they find they have a beneficial effect.’
    • ‘Lotions and bath salts such as Aveeno bath can be purchased over the counter.’
    • ‘Patients derive enough benefit from over the counter cough medicines to purchase them in the first place and to keep returning for more.’
    1. 1.1 (of share transactions) taking place outside the stock exchange system.
      • ‘The company's stock is not listed on any stock exchange, but it is traded over the counter.’
      • ‘After numerous downgradings, it now trades over the counter for a nickel a share.’