When it comes to getting the right prescription, many people don’t know what they don’t know. Sometimes it seems like someone is selling every possible pill, potion, and treatment to a complacent public. The truth is that most members of the population are largely unaware of all of the dangers lurking behind their medicine cabinet doors or in their physicians’ offices.
After all, if everyone knew everything about both the good and bad things about nearly everything in life, life would be quite dull and uneventful. Prescription drugs can be great for some people, but they can also be one of the most dangerous things in your home medicine cabinet if you don’t take the time to learn everything you can about them first.
There are so many hidden truths about these medications that make up a large part of modern medical practice as we know it. Here is everything you need to know before deciding whether or not to take any prescription drugs.
What Is a Prescription Drug?
A prescription drug is any medication that is manufactured and sold legally under the prescription of a licensed medical professional. Other times, you may also hear the term “prescribed medication.” In either case, this means that a doctor has determined that a certain course of action is appropriate for you and your health situation. Prescription drugs are divided into two categories:
Schedule II and Schedule III. Schedule II drugs are highly controlled substances under the Federal Controlled Substances Act, and Schedule III drugs are those that have a recognized medical use. All prescription medications can fall into either of these categories, but only Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and are said to have “no currently accepted medical use”.
What is in Prescription Drugs?
Prescription drugs are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure that they are safe and effective. All prescription drugs must be approved by the FDA before they can be sold in the United States. The FDA reviews the drug’s safety and efficacy, as well as its manufacturing practices and the qualifications of the company that makes the medication.
Because the ingredients in prescription drugs are regulated by the FDA, you can be sure that they are what they say they are. In addition, many prescription drugs are required to be tested for potency at lower and lower levels before they are approved for sale. This is so that there is a certain level of assurance that you are taking the right dose every time.
How Should You Take Prescription Drugs?
If you are taking any kind of prescription medication, you must take it exactly as your doctor or pharmacist has prescribed. If you take a pill that says to take one pill every eight hours, then you absolutely must take eight pills every eight hours. If you miss a dose, you can take it as soon as you remember, but you shouldn’t double up on the dose.
If you miss two doses, then you should speak to your doctor about whether or not you should continue taking the drug. It’s also important to take any prescription drugs with a full glass of water. This allows the drugs to be fully dissolved in the water and avoid any issues of drug-drug interactions.
Binders, Excipients, and Fillers
Binders, excipients, and fillers are the main ingredients in prescription drugs. They are necessary to make the medication and are then removed by your body.
- Binders – These are substances that help the medication stay inside the pill so that it can be easily digested by your stomach and absorbed into your bloodstream. Binders are different for each type of medication, and they may include powders, liquids, or even other ingredients like lactose.
- Excipients – As their name suggests, these are substances that are used to hold the active ingredients in the pill together. They can be binders, fillers, or a combination of the two.
- Fillers – These are substances that are used to dilute the medications so that they are easier to swallow. There are different types of fillers, including calcium carbonate, lactose, and microcrystalline cellulose.
Can Prescription Drugs Be Abused?
Prescription drugs can be abused, but they generally have to be snorted, injected, or taken in a liquid form for this to be an issue. If you are taking a pill, you have to swallow it whole with a glass of water. There are three ways that prescription drugs can be abused:
- Snorting – This is the most common form of prescription drug abuse, and it involves sniffing a powder or liquid off a strip or a rolled-up piece of paper.
- Inhalation – This is the second most common method of prescription drug abuse, and it involves breathing in a powder or liquid through the mouth.
- Swallowing – This is the least common form of prescription drug abuse and involves swallowing a pill whole with a glass of water.
What are the Side Effects of Prescription Drugs?
Every drug has some potential for side effects, and prescription drugs are no exception. The side effects of prescription drugs can vary greatly, and they depend on several factors, including your age, health condition, and the medication itself. Some side effects may be minor and only last while you are taking the medication, while others may be more severe and last a lifetime. Some can cause serious health problems, while others are simply uncomfortable and annoying. Common Side Effects of Prescription Drugs include:
- Nausea – This is one of the most common prescription drug side effects, and it is caused by the drug moving through your digestive system too quickly. You may feel nauseous, as if you are about to vomit, or you may have diarrhea.
- Swelling – This is caused by an increase in blood pressure, and it may be relatively mild or it may be much more severe.
- Dizziness – This side effect is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain, so it is mild when it happens once and is much more serious when it happens again and again.
- Fatigue – This is a common prescription drug effect that causes a lack of energy or extreme tiredness.
When choosing a medication, it’s important to know everything you can about them before you take a single pill. The side effects of prescription drugs can be serious, and they also depend on the person taking them. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor.
They are the experts, and they know what is best for your unique health situation. Keep in mind, however, that prescription drugs are often necessary treatments for many medical conditions, so do your research and make sure you know exactly what you are getting into before deciding to take any of them.