There are probably more medicines than there are illnesses to be cured. We all know that medicines are developed to make us feel better when we are feeling sick. However, most people don't realize that all medicines have risks as well as benefits. Medicines may cause unwanted side effects or drug interactions with food or with other medicines you may be taking.
Benefits of over-the-counter and prescription medicines must outweigh its known risk before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approve its sale to the general public. The FDA can withdraw a medication from the market if found to cause harmful side effects. The benefits of medicines are the positive effects you get when you take them, such as lowering blood pressure, curing bacterial infection or relieving back pain. The risks of medicines are the chances that something unwanted or unexpected could happen to you when you use them. Some risks could be less serious, such as a headache, or more serious, such as liver damage. In order to reduce the risks, always follow the directions carefully when taking medicines.
Medicines are chemical substances or compounds that are used for the treatment and prevention of diseases and its symptoms. Advances in medications have enabled doctors to a find cure to many diseases and save lives.
Today's medicines come from varied sources. Some medicines have been developed from substances found in nature, such as plant extracts. But most medicines are produced and developed in laboratories using chemical mixtures, or by products of organisms, such as fungus. And a few medicines are even biologically engineered by inserting genes into bacteria that make them produce the desired substance.
Medications come in different forms, such as tablets, pills, liquids, drops, creams, gels, ointments, inhalers, patches, injectables.
Some medicines can cure an illness by killing or stopping the spread of invading germs, such as bacteria and viruses. Others are used for cancer treatments by killing cells as they divide to prevent them from multiplying. Some drugs simply replace missing substances or correct abnormally low levels of natural body chemicals such as certain hormones or vitamins. Medicines can also affect parts of the nervous system that control a particular body process.
Antibiotic is a type of medicine to fight bacterial infections like strep throat or an ear infection. These medicines help the body's immune system to fight off the infection by killing the bacteria or stopping their multiplication. Some medicines can only treat the symptoms but can't cure the illness that causes the symptoms. For example, taking a lozenge may soothe a sore throat, but it won't kill that nasty strep bacteria. There are medicines for pain relief to treat pulled muscles. They block the pathways that transmit pain signals from the injured or irritated body part to the brain to lessen the pain.
Immunizations are medical treatments that keep people from getting sick through vaccines. They contain parts or products of infectious organisms or whole germs that have been modified or killed. Vaccine helps the body's immune system to fight off infection by that germ.
Some people find it a hassle to take medicines. But these are the most effective treatments available for many illnesses. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication to avoid further aggravating your condition. Inform your health care provider about all of the medicines and supplements you are using to avoid possible drug interactions. It is important to mention if you are pregnant or nursing to avoid harmful effects to the unborn.
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