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How do we use medicines correctly?

Diseases have always been decisive in the formation, development, shaping and the change of human history. For this reason, medicines have been developed to understand, prevent, treat diseases or as in often, keep them under control. In the early ages of human history, nature was the main source of the medicine, but in the last two centuries, synthesized substances have started to be used more as medicine. Although the medicine is very essential in the treatment, prevention or control of diseases, it can also be a disease cause if not used correctly.


The doctor should understand the disease of the patient who comes with a complaint, make the correct diagnosis, and then apply the right medicine for that disease to the patient so that the patient benefits from that medicine and is not even harmed. Information about medicines in society is very limited and is generally what others tell or understand with simple reasoning. The idea that the right medication, if it is not applied correctly to the right patient, will cause harm rather than benefit to the patient is not sufficiently established. In addition, the idea that medicines obtained through chemical synthesis or biotechnology have side effects or harms, but natural, herbal products do not cause any harm is an example of misinformation. Before making a more in-depth evaluation on this subject, it is necessary to briefly state what the medicine means.


Medicine are substances whose dose, route of administration and duration of application are used for the treatment, prevention or control of diseases, etc. The idea that natural or herbal products are not medicines, they are harmless, those that are chemically synthesized are medicines and they are harmful is completely wrong. First of all, all kinds of herbal or natural substances contain chemicals. In chemical laboratories or factories, the same or similar substances are produced purer and in high quantities and at low cost, this is the only difference between them. In other words, whether it is of natural origin or obtained through synthesis, they are all medicines.


There are two pillars of proper use of drugs. One of them is the professional foot consisting of healthcare professionals such as doctors, pharmacists and nurses, and the other is the patient foot. When the patient goes to the doctor, there is rarely an error or deficiency in the diagnosis of the disease by the doctor. The doctor prescribes the medicine to the patient and the pharmacist prepares that prescription for the patient. Here, the issues that the doctor should pay attention to in prescribing the right medicine are very technical issues, and what I want to focus on is the correct use of the patient's medications.


The correct use of medicines by patients means that they first become aware of their disease, understand it and follow the doctor's warnings accordingly. If the patient does not comply with this basic issue, it is impossible for him to benefit from his treatment. For example, a blood pressure patient should know what his disease is and make some changes in his life accordingly. Blood pressure does not only mean increased blood pressure. In the short or long term, it causes cardiovascular diseases, circulatory disorders, cerebral hemorrhage, and damage to important organs, especially the kidney. When patients first face their illness, they pay attention to the doctor's warnings, but as time passes, this care decreases. Blood pressure patients cannot reduce their blood pressure by using only medication without following basic warnings such as salt restriction, weight regulation and diet. In addition, it is not possible to benefit from the medicine if the patients do not take their medications regularly as timely as possible. Blood pressure patients generally tend to take their medication when they feel a headache. However, in accordance with the doctor's recommendation, they should take their medications regularly, even if they do not have any symptoms such as headache, weakness, fatigue, etc., at a similar time every day. If they do not pay attention to this, their diseases will continue to progress and the above-mentioned diseases will develop. Similarly, a diabetic patient will receive limited benefit from the medicine unless he pays attention to his diet, does not lose weight and does not limit his sugar consumption. It is not possible for the patient to be treated by taking medication only when his sugar rises. Such irregular medicine use does not cure the disease and can lead to exacerbation of the disease. Because irregular medicine use can lead to various changes in the body, causing the medicines to lose their effect over time and ultimately reduce the medicine options that can be used in treatment.


Another step in the correct use of medicines is how to administer medicines. Medicines in the form of tablets and capsules are taken without breaking or opening, if there is no special warning, and only by swallowing with water. Breaking the medicines, except for those written as breakable, or opening the capsule and swallowing it with other liquids causes the effects of the medicines to completely disappear or decrease. This is never done, medicines are taken with at least a glass of water. Before swallowing the medicine, the patient should wet his throat by drinking some of the water in the glass, thus facilitating the swallowing of the medicine, and then swallow the medicine with all the remaining water. When the medicine is taken in this way, the effect of the medicine increases as much as it should be, and it also protects the kidneys by causing less load on the kidneys.


Not all medicines are taken on a full stomach or an empty stomach. Some medicines have special warnings and are especially recommended to be taken on an empty stomach, while others should be taken on a full stomach. For example, the effect of the medicine that should be taken on an empty stomach may decrease when taken full, and the medicine that should be taken on a full stomach can cause gastrointestinal damage when taken fast. Taking the medication on an empty stomach means taking it at least 2 hours after the last meal or 1 hour before the next meal.


Another important aspect is the storage of medicines. Not every medicine should be stored in the fridge all the time. Medicines should be stored in accordance with the instructions written on them without being taken out of the box. Medicines that are said to be stored at 0-8 degrees should be stored in the refrigerator, medicines with a -20 degree warning should be stored in the deep freezer, and medicines with a warning at room temperature should be stored in a storage cabinet in a cool place out of the sun. Otherwise, it is certain that there will be a decrease in the effects of medicines.


Another important issue is the use of eye drops. It is absolutely necessary to wash hands with plenty of soap when applying eye drops. From the name, it should be dripped into the eye without touching the eyelashes in any way. Because eye drops are caused to become infected. From the hands or eyelashes, bacteria or viruses get on the drops and can grow there. In the next application, it can infect the eye and cause disease. In addition, both eye drops and nose drops must be discarded at the end of the treatment period.


Another important issue in the correct use of medicines is the disposal of drugs. Medicines should not be thrown away in any way. Medicines thrown into the pot cause great harm to nature. They cause pollution of water, soil and plants, air. It can lead to the development of resistant bacteria, the emergence of new disease agents and a wide variety of diseases such as cancer, heart diseases by infecting food. For this reason, the remaining medicines and medicine boxes after the treatment should be disposed of in a medical waste bag by closing the mouth in a garbage bag in hospitals, health centers, etc. In this way, we will be safe for ourselves, our environment and our future generations.




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