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    Drugs

    Drugs are substances used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) is an important part of the medical field and relies on the science of pharmacology for continual advancement and on pharmacy for appropriate management. Classification of drugs They are classified in various ways, and they can be broadly categorized into two […]

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    Drugs are substances used to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) is an important part of the medical field and relies on the science of pharmacology for continual advancement and on pharmacy for appropriate management.

    Classification of drugs

    They are classified in various ways, and they can be broadly categorized into two main types:

    1. Prescription drugs, which require a doctor’s prescription to be dispensed; and
    2. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, which can be purchased without a prescription.

    Key aspects of drugs

    Key aspects of drugs include:

    Active Ingredient

    The active ingredient is the chemical that is biologically active, responsible for producing the desired effect on the body.

    Formulation

    They can be formulated in various forms such as tablets, capsules, liquid syrups, injections, creams, and ointments, each designed for specific routes of administration (oral, topical, intravenous, etc.).

    Mechanism of Action

    Each one works in a specific way, known as its mechanism of action, which might involve interacting with biological molecules, altering biochemical pathways, or attacking pathogens.

    Therapeutic Uses

    They are used for a wide range of therapeutic purposes, including treating infections, relieving pain, managing chronic conditions, and treating mental health issues.

    Side Effects

    Most drug products have side effects, which are unintended actions or effects of the drug. Some side effects are minor, while others can be more serious.

    Safety and Regulation

    The development, testing, approval, and marketing of drug products are strictly regulated by governmental agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to ensure safety and efficacy.

    Prescription vs. OTC

    Prescription drugs are those that are deemed to be potentially harmful if not used under the supervision of a healthcare professional, while OTC drugs are considered safe and effective for general use without a doctor’s oversight.

    Generics and Brand Names

    Drug products can be available under generic names (the chemical name of the drug) and brand names (the name given by the manufacturer). Generic products are typically less expensive and equivalent in efficacy to brand-name drugs.

    Drug Interactions

    Drug products can interact with other drugs, foods, or diseases, which can alter their effectiveness or increase the risk of adverse effects.

    Addiction and Abuse

    Some drug products, particularly certain painkillers and psychoactive substances, have the potential for addiction and abuse.

    Understanding drug products

    Understanding drugs and their appropriate use is essential for effective healthcare and patient safety. It involves a complex interplay of pharmacology, medical practices, regulatory oversight, and patient education.

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