By Susan Aldridge

ISBN-10: 0511001304

ISBN-13: 9780511001307

ISBN-10: 0521584140

ISBN-13: 9780521584142

Now we have all been drug clients at one time or one other. medicines can be utilized as medications, as foodstuff ingredients, for excitement, and to guard our long term well-being. With such a lot of new medicines out there and an ever-widening definition of what precisely makes a drug a drug, we must always all be good trained in regards to the medications we use--how they paintings, their advantages, and their hazards. This e-book is a special consultant for the final reader to the medicine of daily life--from as a rule prescribed medicinal drugs to leisure medicines (including illicit ones) and nutrients vitamins. the writer examines how medicines have interaction with their objectives within the physique, the place medicines come from, how they're built, and what new types of medications are at the horizon. She stories all of the significant pharmaceutical medicines--painkillers, antibiotics, anti-cancer medicines, anti-depressants, middle medicines, tranquilizers, and hormones. even more than a shopper instruction manual, this quantity conveys the attention-grabbing technological know-how in the back of medications in an simply obtainable approach.

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Extra info for Magic Molecules: How Drugs Work

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More often, though, drugs interact to give an adverse effect. Nearly half of hospital patients take six or more drugs. The number of possible interactions between the drugs increases steeply with the number of drugs prescribed. If someone is on two drugs there can only be one interaction between them. If they are taking seven, then there are 21 possible interactions. Minimising drugdrug interactions is where the skill of the prescriber is really tested. For example, they will know that a drug with a narrow therapeutic index like the heart drug digoxin is more sensitive to any second drug that enhances its effect.

Largish molecules such as the antibiotic cefotaxime, which is used in the treatment of meningitis, cannot easily penetrate the walls of the small intestine. Typically less than 20 per cent of a dose of cefotaxime, and related antibiotics, ends up in the circulation. Other drugs such as the anti-depressants imipramine and doxepin run into trouble when they get to the liver, which breaks down more than half of the molecules in the given dose. A drug's ability to negotiate the gut and liver is known as its bioavailability.

The interaction tends to tip the digoxin over into its toxic range. The patient may well start to suffer side effects when a second or subsequent drug is added to their programme. Removing, replacing or reducing the dose of the interacting drug may well eliminate the side effects. A good understanding of how each drug acts in the body means that most drug interactions are predictable although there is always the odd surprise. So, if two drugs have similar effects, their effects will be additive.

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Magic Molecules: How Drugs Work by Susan Aldridge


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