Objectives: ◦ Explain how to identify the two basic groups of medicine. ◦ Describe the various prescription and over-the- counter drugs. ◦ Explain how prescription and over-the-counter drugs are purchased. ◦ Discuss how to use medicines safely.
There are good drugs and bad drugs. A drug is a substance other than food that changes the way the body or mind functions. A medicine is a drug that prevents or cures diseases or relieves its symptoms. All medicines are drugs, but not all drugs are medicine.
Medicines are classified into two groups: ◦ Prescription drugs (Rx)are medicines that a person can get only by a written order from a physician. ◦ Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, are medicines that a person can get without a physician’s written order. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are legal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decides which drugs require a prescription in the US.
Analgesics are pain relievers. They block the body’s pain signals to the brain. Aspirin is an analgesic. Antacids relieve heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach. Antibiotics treat infections caused by bacteria. Antihistamines relieve the symptoms of allergies.
Cough Medicines fall into two categories: antitussives stop the coughing reflex; expectorants thin the mucus so that it can be cleared away by coughing. Decongestants reduce the swelling of the tissues inside the nose and ease the feeling of being stuffed up. Sedative hypnotics treat anxiety or sleep disorder.
Which OTC drug is right for you? ◦ Tylenol or Acetaminophen? A generic drug is a copy of a brand-name drug. Generic drugs are cheaper than brand-name drugs. Generic drugs are generally as effective and of the same quality as brand-name drugs. Kids should never buy any medicine on their own vs.
A pharmacist is a health professional who is licensed to prepare and sell prescription drugs. Drugs typically have side effects. A side effect is an unwanted reaction to a drug. Read the label, expiration date, and warning before you take any medicine.
Drug misuse is taking a prescription or over-the-counter medication for medical reasons but using it incorrectly. Examples of drug misuse: ◦ Not following the directions on the drug label ◦ Taking extra doses of the drug ◦ Sharing or borrowing someone else’s prescription ◦ Mixing medicine with alcohol or other harmful substances
Guidelines for the Safe use of Medicines ◦ Follow directions on the drug label & note side effects ◦ Ask your physician or pharmacist any questions you have ◦ Store medicine out of reach of children and pets ◦ Do not take medicine that is past its expiration date ◦ Do not drink alcohol while on any medication
Guidelines for the Safe use of Prescription Drugs ◦ Remind your physician of allergies that you have before he or she writes the prescription ◦ Double-check that the pharmacy has given you the right medicine ◦ Call the physician immediately if you feel worse after taking the medicine ◦ Make sure your physician knows if you are on any other medications; this helps prevent possible drug interaction ◦ Finish all the medicine in your prescription, unless otherwise directed by a physician ◦ Store the medicine as directed.
Guidelines for the Safe use of OTC drugs ◦ Choose the right medicine for your symptoms ◦ Store all your medicines in their original containers ◦ Buy only sealed packages of OTC drugs. Do not purchase a package that is opened or damaged. ◦ Seek medical care if your symptoms continue.
Long Term Use of Medicine ◦ Use a planner or notebook to record or check off what you take each day and when. ◦ Sort our weekly dosage of pills into a pill organizer or placing your medication next to an object that you use every day.