Modern Medicine: Cautions in use of Medicines

Dosage and Frequency

Determination of dose and repetition thereof are the most difficult facets of any prescription which generally is dependent upon following factors, viz.

(a) Stage and status of the disease
(b) Type of infection and resultant disease.
(c) Duration of ailment-whether acute or chronic
(d) Age & Sex of the patient
(e) Allergy or intolerance to certain ingredients.
(f) Patient acceptability and compliance.

Cautions in use of Medicines

Following types of patients need continuous monitoring of dose and frequency

(a) Pregnant ladies
(b) Infants & Children
(c) Persons suffering from asthma, boncho-pneumonia, Diphtheria, any heart problem,Renal failure, anuria, malignant tumors, tuberculosis etc.
(d) Acute diarrhoea, dysentery
(e) Diabetic patient,especially whose blood sugar level suddenly rises and falls
(f) children on insulin therapy
(g) Highly emaciated elderly people.
(h) Bleeding from any orifice (opening) of the body
(i) Pre and Post operative patients
(j) Obese persons on dietary control etc.

Pharmaceutical companies generally indicate dosage for all age groups but, even then, the recommended doses may have to be adjusted due to drug-interaction, contra-indication, drug reactions and other cautionary advice must be closely studied, but each case should be individualized in view of a patient’s condition, symptoms and health status. A number of useful books provide enough and requisite information about following points viz

(i) Brand /Trade name of the medicine and its manufacturing company.
(ii) Presentation and potency, including General symptoms which necessitate use of the medicine
(iii) Actual ingredient and concentration/proportion in a drug.
(iv) Available in which form (Tablet, capsule or liquid)
(v) Agewise dosage and probable duration of use
(vi) Whether recommended for infants, children, pregnant ladies and the elderly .
(vii) Contra-indications
(viii) Special precautions
(ix) Drug interactions (i.e. with which medicines a specific drug should he taken so as not to enhance or reduce the effect’s.
(xi) Additional drug reactions

Some enterprises publish a directory on drugs on monthdly, quarterly, or annual basis. For instance, ‘Drug Today’, ‘MIMS India’ publish booklets, containing the said information on quarterly and monthly basis but the details given serve the purpose of qualified and experienced doctors only, though some glaring exceptions cannot be ruled out. More inquisitive readers can gather more information also from various sources .

It is believed that a person who has basic knowledge of human body and its functions, diseases, drugs and drug- combinations can benefit a lot from such and many other identical publications. Diagnostic methods and drug prescriptions is a continuous process, hence no information is a final word and every practitioner is expected to keep himself abreast of all the latest developments so that one is armed with an upto -date knowledge.

Cautions on use of medicines, dose, and potency of medicine should neither be enhanced or decreased abuptly nor its frequency altered, without giving it sufficient time to act and show results. Always start with minimum dose and potency. No identical cases should be ever compared nor medicine, dosage, potency and frequency be equated, for the simple reason that even identical medicines may show variable results even when the symptions synchronize. In case of any unusual development, never hesitate to consult a doctor for proper guidance.

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