The goal of this book is to provide you with knowledge on the most often used medications (prescription and nonprescription). The data comes from a variety of reliable sources and represents the agreement of numerous experts. Every attempt has been taken to ensure that the information is accurate and thorough. However, because medical information is continuously changing, if you have any questions or concerns, you should always consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Guide to Drug Charts
This book’s medication information is presented in a series of concise, easy-to-read charts. As illustrated in the sample chart below and opposite, each medicine is explained in a two-page format. Drug generic names, such as ACETAMINOPHEN, or drug class names, such as ANTIHISTAMINES, are listed alphabetically in the charts. A drug’s official chemical name is its generic name. A brand name is a registered trademark for a generic drug owned by a pharmaceutical company. Brand names from the United States and Canada are represented on the charts. A generic medicine could have one, a few, or a lot of different brand names.
Checklist for Safer Drug Use
Before starting any new medication, tell your doctor about any other medications you’re taking (including aspirin, allergy pills, cough and cold remedies, antacids, laxatives, herbal remedies, vitamins, and so on).
Before taking any medicines, learn everything you can about them.
Your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, this book, other books in your public library, and the Internet are all good sources of information.
Keep a current list of all your medications in your pocket or purse. • Don’t take medications recommended for someone else, even if your symptoms are the same.
Don’t tell anyone about your prescription medications. Someone else could be harmed by your medications.
Tell your doctor about any symptoms you think are caused by a drug you’re taking, whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter.
Only take medications that are really necessary. When taking prescription medications for a medical reason, avoid taking nonprescription narcotics.
Before your doctor recommends a medication for you, inform him about any previous drug experiences you’ve had, including positive outcomes, side effects, bad reactions, or allergies.
Compliance with Doctors’ Instruction
For medical purposes, compliance is described as a patient’s willingness to follow a doctor’s orders, which includes taking prescriptions on time, making appointments, and following instructions for lifestyle modifications such as changing one’s diet or exercising.
Despite the fact that medical counsel and prescriptions are among the most expensive items in a family’s budget, many people undermine the healthcare system by disregarding the doctor’s recommendations. The single most common cause of treatment failure is failing to follow the doctor’s directions. It’s possible that the instructions were not provided correctly, or that you didn’t understand or appreciate their significance and benefits.
Cough and Cold Medicines
To treat the symptoms of the common cold and other minor respiratory diseases, there are hundreds of nonprescription (over-the-counter or OTC) medications available.
Some of these medications only have one active component that treats a particular symptom (such as a cough). Other medications are made up of two or more substances that are used to treat a variety of ailments (such as a cough, stuffy nose, and pain). A generic (or chemical) name is given to each of a drug’s active components. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, pseudoephedrine, guaifenesin, diphenhydramine, and other generics are examples.
Many of the charts in this book’s Pregnancy section will encourage a woman to discuss using the medicine during pregnancy with her doctor. They can talk about the drug’s predicted benefits and assess them against the hazards to the mother and baby together.
Some charts state that medicine should not be used during pregnancy. This could be due to known dangers or a variety of other factors. Due to space constraints on the drug charts, a thorough report on each medicine’s advantages and hazards during pregnancy is not possible. Also, additional factors such as drug dosage, when it is taken during pregnancy, other health concerns a woman may have, and other drugs she takes can affect a drug’s effects.
The National Library of Medicine’s Daily Med website has drug labels. Label information can be found by searching for the drug’s name.
Buying Prescription Drugs Online
These recommendations come from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is critical to use extreme caution while purchasing drugs online. Some websites sell drugs that may or may not be safe to use, putting your health in jeopardy.
1. Are counterfeit (sometimes known as “copycat”) drugs.
2. Are excessively strong or insufficiently weak.
3. Contain hazardous compounds.
4. Have passed their expiration date (are out-of-date).
5. They aren’t FDA-approved (i.e., they haven’t been tested for safety and efficacy).
6. They aren’t manufactured in accordance with safety norms.
7. Aren’t compatible with other medications or goods you’re taking.
8. They aren’t properly labeled, kept, or sent.
Guidelines for Disposing Drugs
Follow any disposal recommendations included on the prescription drug labeling or in the patient information that comes with the medication. Unless this material clearly directs you to do so, do not flush drugs down the sink or toilet.
Use community drug take-back initiatives, which allow people to bring their unwanted medications to a single location for proper disposal. To determine if a take-back program is available in your area, contact your city or county government’s domestic trash and recycling department. If there are no disposal instructions on the prescription medicine labels and no take-back program in your area, follow these procedures to dispose of the drugs in your household garbage.