DESPITE the increase in dependence on modern drugs, the consumer/the patient remains in the dark about their contents, effects and use as the doctor has little time for each patient to discuss these. Unlike other common items where the buyer is the chooser, in medicines, the patient has to depend entirely on the doctor’s choice – a case in which the erring doctor can be a big liability. Thus where the wise old physician Hippocrates said rightly, ‘for the sick the least is the best’ but in contrast, modern medicine seems to say, ‘the most is the best’. It is a common phenomenon to see that of late the health care system not only prescribes too many drugs at one time but also too often. In fact, indiscriminate use of several life-saving and potent antibiotics has finally relegated them to the status of the ‘not so-effective’ ones. Actually fewer antibiotics are needed which are not only more toxic but also more expensive.
With drugs, discretion is important rather than adventurism and so one has got to be knowledgeable. Very few doctors instruct their patients not to take milk with tetracycline or this class of drugs because with milk they become ineffective. It is imperative for every educated individual to know the how, why and when of drugs that he and his family may have to take. Many potentially dangerous drugs, which are supposed to be given only on prescription are available on the counter. In addition a large number of drug combinations containing two or more drugs in one preparation are sold where some are useful while others are not only less useful but highly toxic ad more expensive. This adds to the cost of the treatment and the risk to the health of an individual.
This book not only acts as a family guide on medicines but attempts to describe almost all the drugs used for common disorders, their current use and the need for medical advice.
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