Medicines are substances used to treat or prevent diseases. Until the 19th century, predominantly raw or relatively simple processed products of vegetable, animal or mineral origin were used as a medicine. With the development of chemistry, the so-called active principles began to be isolated from plant and animal raw materials, the chemical structure of many drugs of plant and animal origin was established and their synthesis was carried out.
Based on the study of the relationship between the chemical structure of drugs and their pharmacological activity, analogues and homologues of natural alkaloids, hormones, and other substances were obtained, and the elucidation of the mechanism of drug action contributed to a targeted search for new effective drugs. Before being introduced into medical practice, each drug is subjected to detailed study, first in animal experiments, and then in a clinic.
Modern medicine uses many medicines. This state of affairs has contributed to the emergence of many "myths" about drugs.
Some medicines are completely harmless to the body. Indeed, some drugs do not have a toxic effect on the body, but with their uncontrolled use, problems can arise. For example, if sorbents are used for a long time (activated carbon, smectite, polyphepan), the suction function may be impaired, constipation may begin; bacterial preparations (bifidumbacterin, lactobacterin, linex, primadophilus) with prolonged use can lead to inhibition of bacteria of the normal intestinal flora.
Vitamins are not medicines. It should be remembered that vitamins are biologically active substances that stimulate various metabolic processes in the body. An excess of them is just as harmful as a lack. For example, an excessive amount of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) leads to hypervitaminosis, accompanied by a deterioration in well-being. Water-soluble vitamins (C, B, P, PP, etc.) usually do not accumulate in the body, but if you consume too much of them, you can provoke the appearance of allergies, irritation of the gastrointestinal mucosa, kidney dysfunction, and metabolic disorders. Therefore, an overdose of vitamin and multivitamin preparations, like any other drugs, is unacceptable.
The more expensive a medicine is, the better it is. Not always. Very often the price of a drug depends on the country of origin, the success of the advertising campaign and other factors that have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the drug. There are quite frequent cases when domestic cheaper drugs are more effective and safer than expensive foreign counterparts.
Side effects are in the annotation - which means they will be when it is taken. This is completely optional. The doctor, prescribing this or that medicine, presents the degree of risk of developing side effects and always tries to minimize them. So antibiotics are often prescribed in conjunction with antihistamines (antiallergic) and antifungal drugs just to prevent the development of frequent complications of antibiotic therapy - allergies and candidiasis. If there is an individual intolerance to any drug or its component (for example, allergy to penicillin), you should definitely inform a specialist about this in order to choose the safest and most suitable drug for you in time.
If the annotation and the doctor's appointment differ, he is a poor specialist. This is a misconception. It should be borne in mind that the dose, medication regimen and duration of treatment described in the annotation are advisory in nature and are designed for the average patient. The doctor, on the basis of the individual characteristics of the patient and his experience, may prescribe the medicine differently. Of course, doctors are not immune to mistakes either. If you notice a discrepancy between the doctor's prescriptions and the application rules recommended in the annotation, you can clarify the controversial points. If the specialist confirms his prescriptions, they should be strictly followed.
The more drugs you use at the same time, the faster you will recover. In fact, some medications may be incompatible with each other, and this prevents the full effect of their intake from being achieved. For example, antibiotics should not be unnecessarily combined with antipyretics, hypnotics, antihistamines, as this changes their effect on the body.
Instead of a prescribed medication, you can buy a similar effect. The effect will be the same. Even if the active substance that forms the basis of the drug is the same, it must be remembered that the difference between drugs from different companies can be in fillers. The dose of the active substance can be different, and sometimes the mechanism of action of the drug. Usually, a doctor, prescribing a medicine, also names analogs that can replace it. If you are unable to use the prescribed medication (due to high cost, deficiency, or because of the appearance of side effects), be sure to consult your doctor about a replacement.
There are cures for all diseases. Recently, drugs have been widely advertised, which, according to manufacturers, are a panacea for all diseases. As a rule, these are general stimulating or adsorbing drugs that can really have a positive effect on the body. However, if a more or less serious illness occurs, specific and targeted treatment with drugs of a narrower spectrum of action will still be required.
Well-known medicines can be taken without consulting a doctor. Many medicines are well known to everyone (analgin, no-spa, paracetamol, etc.), are sold without a prescription and do not always require a doctor's prescription. However, it should be remembered that such drugs are safe only with short-term use. Otherwise, serious complications can arise.
One and the same medicine works the same for all people. The degree of exposure and the therapeutic effect of drugs often depends on age, gender, and individual characteristics of the organism.
The tablets must be chewed. This statement is only true for conventional pills. But if the tablets are coated with special membranes, they cannot be chewed, because either such drugs will simply stop acting, or unwanted side reactions may occur (for example, when grinding diazolin, ibuprofen, bonafton, indomethacin, their irritating effect on the stomach may increase).
It is best to drink the medicine with water. This is not entirely true. For example, erythromycin is best washed down with alkaline mineral water or milk, indomethacin and reserpine - with milk, caffeine or theophylline - with sour juice. But you cannot drink calcium and erythromycin with juice, while tetracycline is better not to drink milk. Aspirin is best taken with alkaline mineral water.