The prescription heartburn remedy Prilosec may soon become
the first drug in in its class to be available without a prescription.
Food and Drug Administration advisory committee voted 16-2
to recommend that over-the-counter sales of the drug be allowed.
The FDA is not required to follow recommendations of its advisory
committees, but it generally does.
approved, Prilosec will be the only drug in its class, called
proton pump inhibitors, sold without a prescription. It will
battle for over- the-counter sales against antacids, like
Rolaids and Tums, and acid reducers, that include Pepcid and
inhibits acid secretions in a different way from the other
Prilosec use should be limited to two to three 14-day courses
of the drug per year, panel members told the FDA.
Medical Week staff,
week of June 23, 2002