Difference between Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins & Over-the-counter Vitamins - Ojus Life

Difference between Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins & Over-the-counter Vitamins

Dr Anita Nischal


Isn’t it a cumbersome task for the consumer to steer in the deluge of health-related products available in pharmacies. The two families of vitamins include over-the-counter vitamins (OTC) and pharmaceutical grade vitamins.

A pharmaceutical-grade supplement is described as any active or inactive drug, biologic, or component, for which a chemical integrity level has been recognized by an established national or regional pharmacopeia such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).

While the FDA does not legalize OTC supplements in the United States. Also, it has been discovered that many OTC supplements include a huge number of fillers and binders in their tablets.

The absence of vitamins in our body or any kind of nutrient deficiency can result in many health-related problems. Thus, leading to a need to consume these vitamins.

Majorly, senior citizens and young children should consume vitamins daily to fill their nutritional gaps. Besides, women and men who require essential nutrients can take herbal supplements.

Now, prescription vitamins vs over the counter supplements can create a substantial difference in your health in an assortment of behaviors. Here is how they vary:

What are Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins?

Pharmaceutical grade vitamins are intended and manufactured to be in a supplement’s richest form. This lets the highest nutrient absorption in the body. Also, via USP guidelines, pharma products ought to be at least 99 percent natural, implying the natural and stable ingredients which are shown in clinical studies.

They are finest for absorption and provide rapid results and eliminate digestive irritations as well. You can get to read the full label as they do not encompass binders or fillers such as cork, dyes, or unidentified chemicals.

What are Over-the-counter Vitamins?

Over the counter vitamins are offered to people in two distinct grades and can include fillers and unknown materials such as cork by-products, sodium benzoate, chemical FD&C dyes, and dextrose. Although these are all legal ingredients, nevertheless over the counter grade vitamins contain no nutritional advantages.

Along with this, their only requirement is to maintain a daily required dosing on vitamins and minerals. As per the FDA, these OTC are incapable of filling an already existing deficient value of vitamin or mineral in the body.

Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins Vs Over-the-counter Vitamins

As Americans are becoming more health-cognizant, they are going towards supplements to either enhance or boost their intake of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. With that heightened consumption – last year around $30.7 billion was spent on supplements in the United States alone.

With a massive demand of the same, how can the consumer ensure that what they are buying is effective and safe?

The disparity may lie in prescription vitamins vs over-the-counter supplements. Let’s look at the variations between the two.

1. Based on Ingredients

Many over the counter vitamins use synthetic or stingier forms of ingredients. Along with it, they may have fewer dilutions of the product. This is why you are advised for a higher dose of OTC supplements. Also, it is difficult for your body to break down a synthetic form of the vitamin, such as folic acid versus folate.

Pharmaceutical grade supplements must comprise at least 99% of the effective ingredients and generally encompass the best potential quality of ingredients that are mainly well absorbed. Pharmaceutical grade vitamins do not make use of any kind of fillers.

OTC goods are not obliged to list all the ingredients and might have fillers, cork, chemical dyes, propylene glycol, dextrose, and sodium benzoate. These materials can become noxious with prolonged use!

Pharmaceutical grade vitamins attempt to reduce the use of fillers and allergens, they are further expected to be hypoallergenic. Also, some companies like OjusLife formulate herbal supplements that are free from wheat, peanuts, gluten, eggs, trans fats, GMOs, coatings and shellacs, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, hydrogenated oils, and preservatives.

2. Based on Bioavailability

Bioavailability is well-defined as the degree and ratio in which a mixture is immersed into a living system or is rendered accessible at the place of biological activity.

Many OTC multivitamins include various compounds in one pill, thus tough for digestion and absorption.

While pharmaceutical grade supplements have standards and are needed to be digested in 45 mins to be certified for a medical grade.

3. Based on Quality & Safety

When we talk about over-the-counter product safety and quality, the single quality control is offered by the manufacturer itself.

On the other hand, pharmaceutical grade vitamins are approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

4. Based on Cost

Pharmaceutical grade vitamins are fabricated in accord with CGMP, the Certified Good Manufacturing Practices protocol, in FDA-registered facilities. Thus, these quality supplements cost more.

Over the counter vitamins may entail five to seven pills to meet what is in one pharmaceutical grade supplement devoid of all the cryptic filler.


Vitamins and Minerals are a crucial modality for prolongation of life and enhanced quality of life. By establishing the difference between Pharmaceutical vitamins vs over the counter, these above-mentioned data may help support attempts to expand the safety and quality of pharmaceutical grade vitamins.

This is mainly vital since, in the United States, 1 in 25 states are taking concurrent OTC vitamins.

Also Study


Pharmaceutical grade vitamins that are produced under GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) environments. This procedure certifies that the products are manufactured and regulated with the greatest quality viable.


No, vitamins aren’t considered medication. Experts advise that a mixture used for nutrition, such as a vitamin, cannot be a drug.


Yes, pharmaceutical grade supplements typically include the finest forms of ingredients as well as patented protected formulation of ingredients. While OTC vitamins are not equivalent as medical-grade vitamins due to the dilutions found in the product.


The market is flooded with many top-notch pharmaceutical grade vitamins. One of them is OjusLife. Ojus offer herbal and natural supplements under the guidance of Integrative GYN Dr. Anita Nischal.

For complete health and wellness, check out her home website www.whpwellness.com


No product is ever 100% genuine, yet pharmaceutical grade vitamins must surpass 99% purity and do not have any fillers, dyes, or other inactive components that act as a vehicle for active properties.