The primary use of medicines in sports is to treat pain and inflammation. Athletes may also take medicines to treat specific medical conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, or to treat common illnesses, like colds, congestion, cough, allergies, diarrhea, and skin infections.

Athletes should talk with their doctor before using any medicines to learn how to use them correctly, how much to take, if there are any side effects, and how they might affect their sports. The use of supplements, including iron and vitamins, as well as any supplement used to enhance sports performance, should also be discussed with a doctor.

Nonprescription medicines are ones that do not require a doctor's order. However, this does not mean they are safer than prescription medicines. Two of the most common nonprescription medicines used in sports are

These medicines are most often used to relieve pain, spasm, or chronic inflammation. For acute injuries...

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