In this section you can find out about:
Medicines names - are categorised into three terms:-
- Generic name,- which is the official name of the basic active substance- this is decided by the Nomenclature Committee of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission
- Brand name- this is chosen by the manufacturer, memorable ,catchy that sort of thing
- Chemical name- which is the technical description
medicines are often grouped together for instance medicines for high blood pressure- antihypertensives or for sickness and vomiting –antiemetics there will be a lot of drugs within that category , and they can also have properties in them which mean that they are good in other illnesses too.
This is where the medicines are divided into which can be sold over the counter at your pharmacy /chemist and the availability of them and to what degree these can be open to abuse. Medicines which are regulated are classified into how harmful they are when abused.
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Classes of drugs what are they?
The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 prohibits activities relating to the sale production and possession of some drugs
- Class A - these are the drugs which have the most harmful effects - these include heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD
- Class B - these drugs are less dangerous than Class A ones, but they still are a threat if misused - Class B drugs include speed and other amphetamines
- Class C - these drugs are less dangerous to the user than Class A and Class B drugs. However, they are still illegal and can be harmful. Class C drugs include cannabis, GHB, GBH, Liquid Ecstasy and some tranquilisers
If you would like to look into the subject of drug misuse or have a problem with drugs there are organisations that can help here are some useful websites
http://www.talktofrank.com – this website has a test for people to check out your knowledge regarding drugs – You can contact “Frank” confidentially if you or a friend have problems with drugs.
http://www.recovery.org.uk – Good drug information and help for all involved
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Important drug interactions - This is important if medicines are taken in combination with certain foods or alcohol or indeed other drugs can cause altered effectiveness –
- Altered absorption – some drugs –opioids –slow the digestion and therefore may affect the absorption rate of another drug.
- Enzyme effects – some drugs may increase or decrease the productions of enzymes in the liver which are necessary to affect the rate other drugs are activated or inactivated
- Excretion of drugs – sometimes some drugs reduce the effectiveness of the kidneys to excrete another drug raising the concentrated levels in the body
Medicines which depress the central nervous system:
Opioids, antihistamines, sleeping pills, alcohol = two or more of these will cause serious over sedation
Medicines which lower the blood sugar levels:
Sulphonamides + alcohol = Increased effectiveness of the sulphonamide dropping the blood sugar levels
Monoamine Oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs):
Cheese/chocolate/red wine/beer/herring or amphetamines and decongestants + MAOIs = severe increase in blood pressure
Most medicines are absorbed:
Systemic= general body
Systemic effect - Medicine > stomach > small intestines > liver > general body circulation
Systemic and sometimes local effect - Medicine > rectum > blood stream > general body circulation
Systemic or local effect -Medication > lungs >bloodstream >body/brain
Localised >skin/lotions/inhalers/eye drops/bladder/vaginal
Systemic or local:
- Intramuscular- into the muscle /upper thigh /upper arm/ buttock
- Intravenous – into vein drugs act more rapidly
- Subcutaneous – under the surface of the skin
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