Drugs and Your Health What advice would you give to a friend about how to use medicine safely?
Safety Rules for Medicines What is a medicine? A medicine is a drug that is used to cure, treat, or prevent pain, disease, and illness. When used correctly, medicines can save lives. However, improper use of medicines can cause health problems.
What is a Medicine? For example, Taking too much of a medicine can lead to sickness or death. Other examples of improper use include taking medicine when it is not needed or taking medicine with other drugs.
What is a Medicine? Even accidentally taking the wrong medicine can make most people sick. Following instructions from your doctor or pharmacist or on the medicine’s label will help you use the medicines safely.
Different Forms of Medicine Medicine can take the form of a pill, liquid, syrup, cream, or spray. Some medicines can be swallowed, inhaled, or injected. Others are rubbed into the skin or dripped into the eyes, nose, or ears. It is important to take a medicine exactly as directed by a doctor or by the medicine’s label.
Over-the-Counter Medicines OTC medicines can be bought at drugstores and grocery stores. They can be used for minor problems, such as headaches or sore throats. They are not used to cure serious illnesses. An over-the- counter medicines are medicines that can be bought without a doctor’s written order.
Over-the-Counter Medicines OTC medicines may have side effects. If OTC medicines are not used properly, they can be dangerous. People who use OTC medicines should follow the label’s instructions carefully. A side effect is an unexpected change in the body or mind that is caused by medicine.
Prescription Medicines These drugs are used to treat, prevent, or cure serious medical problems. People should never take a prescription medicine unless a doctor recommends it. Some prescription medicines have strong side effects. Taking too much of some prescription medicines can be dangerous, even deadly. Prescription medicines are medicines that can be bought ONLY with a written order from a doctor.
Using Medicines Safely Following directions from doctors and on medicine labels helps make using medicine safe. Never mix drugs unless a doctor tells you to. Taking a medicine with another drug (even medicine) can change the effects of the drugs. Be aware of allergies. Some people have sensitive reactions, or allergies, to certain medicines. Medicine is not always necessary. If you have a headache, you may simply need water or rest.
Drug Misuse vs. Drug Abuse Drug misuse is the accidental unsafe use of a medicine. Ex.: You have an ear infection. A doctor prescribed medicine for you. You are supposed to take two pills each day. You take four pills by mistake. If you misuse a drug, tell your parents or guardian right away. They can decide what to do. Drug abuse is the use of an illegal drug, OR the harmful use of a legal drug