Jumat, 16 Januari 2009

Most of the products sold in drugstores work as intended. And some have undesirable side effects. Here’s what you should know about ten drug types commonly used in Asia.
People often call this drug as true modern miracle drug. The drug reduces fever and inflammation, relieves, headache, arthritic and other pains and by affecting blood platelets, may even reduce the chances associated with heart disease and stroke. But aspirin doesn’t have potential side effect. Among them: *stomachache, nausea, and ulcers. To help prevent this, take aspirin with a glass of water. *Allergic reaction: skin rashes, runny nose, wheezing, and chest tightness. To relieve minor aches and pains or headache, take no more than 5 gram aspirin tablets every four hours for minimum of ten days. Before taking another drug or undergoing surgery, tell your doctor that you have been taking aspirin.
The second most widely used over the counter (OTC) pain reliever, acetaminophen is found in Tylenol and many other products. It is effective for relief of minor aches and pain as well as fever, but it does not have the anti inflammatory benefits of aspirin. On the other hand, it does not cause stomach irritation. The recommended dosage is the same as of aspirin. Although acetaminophen is generally free of side effects, a large overdose can lead to serious, even fatal liver damage. Warming: a panel of experts recently concluded that heavy and prolonged use of pain relievers containing both aspirin and acetaminophen increase risk of kidney diseases, it’s safer, said the panel, to use only single ingredient product.
These products are sold under many brand names for “acid indigestion sour stomach or heartburn (only antacid containing simethicone work against “gas”). Antacid neutralizes excess acid in the stomach, commonly caused by overeating, overdrinking, or stress and come in varying strengths. Used as directed, antacids have no serious side effects. Used to excess they can cause constipation or diarrhea. Take antacids about an hour after meals and not with other medicines. Warning: if your symptoms don’t clear up within two days, see a doctor. Antacid should not be used to self-treat a suspected ulcer.
Cold medication
No drug can prevent or reduce the natural course (three to seven days) of a cold. However, many cold medication, pain relievers, antihistamines, decongestant, lozenges, cough suppressants do relieve symptoms. But note:
*Question your doctor if he gives you a prescription medication for a cold. If it’s an antibiotic which will not cure the cold, it may waste your money.
*Many widely used cold remedies contain combination of drugs to relieve two or more symptoms. Medical experts’ advice consumers not to treat symptoms they do not have.
Allergy drugs
Antihistamines sold over the counter are the first lines to defense against the allergic reaction of a heavy fever, but are not always effective. If they don’t relieve your symptoms, or if you experience shortness of breath, see your doctor. Warning: antihistamine should not be taken by people with asthma or glaucoma, or by men with enlarged prostates, and should not be combined with alcohol. Besides drowsiness, they can cause dry mouth, nose and throat.
The prescription drugs are effective against a broad range of bacterial and fungal infections. But keep in mind:
*Antibiotic act over time. Always take the recommended dose, even if your symptoms disappear.
*Many antibiotics should be taken only on an empty stomach, other with food.
*Besides bad bacteria, they can kill useful bacteria such as those in the intestine that aid digestions, and diarrhea may result.
*Some people are allergic to antibiotic. *Overuse may lead to the development of resistant strains of micro organic.
Birth control pills
Here, in brief, is what two decades of research has found:
Smoking significantly increases the risk of heart diseases and stroke in woman taking the pills, especially those over 25. The pills are not recommended for women with high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease or a family history of heart disease, regardless of age. There is no firm evidence that the pills cause a cancer. In fact the government studies show that they protect against cancer of the uterus. The pills cause hormonal fluctuations that alleviate symptoms of depressions in some women and worsen them in others. The newer formula pills, containing lower doses of estrogen and progesterone are less likely to cause weight change, breast tenderness, abdominal cramp or skin discoloration, but likely to cause menstrual irregularities.
Diet aids
Many of these products contains appetite suppressant called phenypropanolamine, or PPA. The American Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) have expressed concern about safe dosage. The Washington DC consumer groups are recommended not using it:
The center for science in the public interest says PPA has been implicated in high blood pressure, stroke and seizure, even in young, healthy people.
The public citizen health research group says there is no evidence that PPA leads to long terms weight loss. And many doctors who specialize in treating obesity advise that the amount of weight lost is insignificant.
Sleep aids
Virtually all-non-prescription sleep aids contain antihistamine, which make you drowsy. Several customers groups and doctor groups recommended against taking sleep aids, especially on a regular basis, and the FDA has approved them for “occasional use” only. Prescription drugs to treat severe or chronic insomnia are potent medicines that should not be used to induce sleep by people having mild or infrequent difficulties (unless instructed to do so by their physicians).
Although valium use has declined sharply in recent years, it and the other minor tranquilizers (the chemically known as benzodiazepines) are still the most widely used prescription drugs. They can counter a feeling of anxiety and some are effective muscle relaxants. But note:
Because of the nature of their action in the body, tolerance some times develops and over time you may need more of the drugs. And sudden withdrawal can lead to unpleasant symptoms. Some doctors think tranquilizers are grossly overused. The FDA has approved them for anxiety disorder, but not for everyday problems and stress.
Six steps for safety:
1. take a drug only recommended on the label or by a doctor. You can not overdose on any drugs.
2. if you feel ill after taking a drug check with a doctor. All drugs can cause side effects, including allergic reaction.
3. don’t mix drugs. If you take more than one drug, including aspirin or antacid, tell you doctor.
4. don’t mix alcohol with medication
5. read all drug labels carefully; ask your doctor or pharmacist if any foods or activities should be avoided and if there is any written information available about your medication.
6. if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, diabetes or any other chronic illness, consult your doctor before taking any over the counter drugs. OTC drugs are for short term use and should never be used for chronic problems without a doctor’s guidance.

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