Drugs are substances which when taken into the body changes the way our body functions via several ways and so are used for;
1. Management of chronic diseases i.e. those that don’t have a cure e.g. Diabetes
2. Treatment of diseases e.g. Antimalarial are used to treat Malaria
3. Prevention of diseases e.g. Hepatitis Vaccines are used to prevent hepatitis.
Drug substances are usually made with other components and presented as medicines which can be taken directly by a patient.
However, it’s noteworthy that full benefits can only be derived when medicines are used appropriately.
Below are four things you should understand before taking any medication:
1. Why you need the medicine.
2. How, when and how long they are to be taken.
3. How to store the medicines?
4. Possible effects of not taking the drug as instructed.
The information above can only be provided by the pharmacist who is the drug expert or sometimes the physician.
According to recent research a large number of drug related problems are due to self-medication i.e. using a medication without professional advice.
This is a dangerous practice because of the reasons below:
1. Reliable information on proper drug use can only be gotten from health professionals especially the pharmacist.
2. Some Drugs have varying doses for different conditions and groups of persons like the young children, elderly, obese or very slim persons.
3. Certain Drugs when used together can interact and produce harmful effects.
4. Some drugs are not to be used at all in certain conditions e.g. in persons with diseases that affect the liver, kidney or during pregnancy.