The main goals of drug development are efficacy or efficacy and safety. As long as all drugs can cause harm, in addition to the benefit they provide, safety is relative. The difference between the usual effective dose and the dose that causes severe or life-threatening side effects is called the margin of safety It is desirable that the margin of safety be wide; But when a serious condition is treated or when there are no other options, then a limited safety margin should often be accepted. If the drug’s usual effective dose is also toxic, doctors use the drug only if the condition is serious and there is no safer alternative.
However, the most useful drugs are effective, and most of them are safe. Penicillin is one of these drugs; except for people who are allergic to penicillin, it is almost non-toxic, even when used in large doses. On the other hand, barbiturates that It was commonly used as an aid to sleep, usually with breathing, and causes a dangerous drop in blood pressure and can even cause death if used in excessive doses. Newer sleep aids, such as temazepam and zolpidem, have a margin Broader safety compared to the safety margin of barbiturates.
It is not always possible to manufacture effective drugs with a large margin of safety and few side effects. As a result, some drugs must be used even if the margin of safety is very limited. For example, warfarin, one of the drugs used to prevent blood clots, can cause: bleeding; However, it is used when absolutely necessary and the risks of its use are taken. Patients taking warfarin need frequent checks to determine the degree of the drug’s blood-thinning effect, and to investigate whether the dose is appropriate, increased, or decreased to achieve the therapeutic goal.
Clozapine is another example. This drug is often useful in people with schizophrenia after all other drugs have failed. But there are serious side effects of clozapine. It may reduce the production of white blood cells, which are needed to prevent infection. Because of this risk, people taking clozapine should have periodic blood tests while they are taking this medicine.
To help ensure that their treatment plan is as safe and effective as possible, be sure to tell health care providers frequently about their health history, medications (including over-the-counter) and dietary supplements (including medicinal herbs) they are currently using, and any other relevant health information In addition, a person should not hesitate to ask the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about treatment goals, side effects and other problems that may occur, and the extent to which they can participate in implementing the treatment plan.
Achieving optimum benefit from drug therapy
Patients can help make their treatment plan as safe and effective as possible by telling their doctor, nurse or pharmacist about:
The health problems they suffer from Medicines (prescription and over-the-counter) and nutritional supplements (including medicinal herbs) they have used within the past few weeks have current or past allergic reactions or unfamiliar reactions to medicines, foods, or other substances Whether they follow a special diet or have certain dietary restrictions A woman’s declaration that she is pregnant, is planning to become pregnant, or is breast-feeding
People can also help by:
Knowing the trade name of the drug or its generic name or both, and knowing the reason for using the drug. Read the label on medication packages carefully before using them, whether for prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Understand why the drug is used, how it works, and possible side effects Knowing how long to use the medicine
Do not drink alcohol according to medical advice.
Do not chew, split or crush the capsule or tablet unless directed to do so Do not use household spoons to measure doses of liquid medicines Know what to do when a dose is missed.
Use simple tools, such as charts or medication management packs, to remember to take doses at the correct times.
Keep medicines in the right place (cool and dry place, out of sunlight, and out of reach of children and pets).
Properly dispose of expired medicines.
Only use prescription drugs for a sick person.
Follow preventive steps and participate in recommended health programs.
Preparing the list of medicines used by the patient and keeping it at hand.
Seek immediate medical help when a problem occurs.
Contact your health care provider or pharmacist if you have any questions.