Top 10 Most Commonly used Medicines

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Medicines are very helpful in curing diseases but can cause more harm, if used in a wrong way. The use of medicines as written on its labels, or as prescribed by doctor, can get you the best results, but when these medicines are not used correctly, the side effects can be very serious, like damage your liver. The medicines have become a basic necessity for our life. We choose to be dependent on medicines because of their ability to heal us without any extra efforts rather finding alternatives, taking out an hour for our health in today’s busy world. The medicines help us to live a longer life, but we cannot forget that it also has side effects. Every year, with nearly 4 million prescriptions, small mistakes in them are also causing death. The type of medicines prescribed has changed over the years with the medical science constantly developing to provide better and cheap medications, which are easily available. The medical science is trying to reach the disease stridden poor countries, providing medication they need to survive. Medicines are a need of rich and poor, young and old alike but self- medication could be harmful if not done cautiously.  Thus, it is important for us to know about some common medicines taken during commonly occurring ailments.

10. Zolpidem Tartrate

This drug is also known as Ambien and is used to treat insomnia and other brain disorders. It is very irritating for the people who feel sleepy but can’t sleep properly and this drug is very useful for these people. Proper precautions should be taken while taking this drug like it should be taken at the lowest possible dose and for maximum up to four weeks; otherwise it may become addictive and would prove to be very harmful in future, if consumed on a regular basis. It starts acting just after 15 minutes and its effect lasts till two to three hours. Overdose may result into depressed respiratory function, which may progress to coma and ultimately to death

9. Hydrochlorothiazide

Hydrochlorothiazide is a water drug used to treat high blood pressure and other various heart diseases. It helps the kidneys to loose unnecessary water and salts into the urine. The drug could be helpful to control the high blood pressure but cannot cure it completely. Side effects may include vision problem, dry mouth, or muscle pain. Alcohol would increase the risk of side effect, so avoid it.

8. Glucophage

It is the most commonly used oral anti-diabetic drug. It is mainly preferred to people who have obesity and overweight. Around 8%of the people around the world are linked to obesity and around 7 million people are living undiagnosed. You should avoid consuming alcohol, if you are taking Glucophage because it may increase the risk of lactic acidosis. It also should not be given to children under 10 years. Regular and long term intake of this drug may cause impaired functioning of kidneys, thyroid problems, heart failure and bladder cancer. It also helps to LDL cholesterol.

7. Azithromycin

The drug is used to treat bacterial infections by stopping the growth of bacteria. It is prescribed to patients suffering from pneumonia, bronchitis, infection in lungs and ears but this drug is not effective to treat viral infections like cold, cough, flu etc. Antibiotics deliver the best effect when the amount of drug is maintained at constant level in the body, so try to take the medicine at the same time every day. Excessive intake of this drug may cause diarrhoea, chest pain, uneven heartbeats, and severe skin reaction. Stop taking the medicine in such cases.

6. Omeprazole

Also known as Prilosec, it is an antacid drug. Nearly 20% of adults suffer from stomach pain and burning due to acidity once in a week. This is the reason why this drug is so popular. In some countries, it can also be bought without prescription from doctor. Precaution should be taken before consuming it, if you have liver disease or heart disease. Do not take this medicine if you have trouble with swallowing, frequent chest pains, nausea or vomiting. The pill is generally taken before eating. Common side effects include fever, sneezing, nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhoea, stomach pain or headache.

5. Amlodipine Besylate

High Blood Pressure is common in about two thirds people over 60. The risk of high blood pressure increases age. The drug blocks the flow of calcium in the blood, thus relaxing arteries. This lowers the blood pressure and heart muscle’s need for oxygen. It is commonly known as Norvasc and is prescribed to patients suffering from heart pain or chest pain due to insufficient oxygen delivered to heart. Common side effects are headache and swelling in lower extremities. If you are allergic to anything, tell your doctor before consuming it, because the drug may contain some inactive ingredients, which may cause allergic reactions.

4. Levothyroxine Sodium

This drug is prescribed to patients of low thyroid hormones, which is found in nearly 9% of women and 1% men. Earlier this drug was also prescribed to patients of increased cholesterol but later withdrawn due to various side effects. It helps in maintaining the level of thyroid in the human body. The symptoms of misbalanced thyroid level include lack of energy, weight gain, and more sensitivity to cold. This drug is considered to be the most effective and most commonly used for treatment of hypothyroidism.

3. Lisinopril

This drug is primarily used to treat high blood pressure and congestive heart is also used to help patients to recover after experiencing heart attack. This drug allows more blood to flow in the body by dilating the blood vessels thus reducing the overall workload of the heart. High Blood Pressure (HBP) in very a very common disease, which is very difficult to diagnose. You can have it for years without knowing it or feeling anything unusual, meanwhile, it could slowly damage your blood vessels, heart etc. If you are pregnant or having diabetes, avoid consuming this drug and properly tell your doctor about the medication you take. Common side effects may include cough, dizziness and mild skin itching.

2. Simvastatin

It is a cholesterol lowering medication. The drug blocks the production of cholesterol by the liver. It is used to lower the risk of heart attack and other such heart diseases. Too much intake of this medication may cause life threatening side effects. The drug should not be taken if you are pregnant, because it can harm an unborn baby. The drug has a very high probability of reacting with other medicines, so proper care should be taken by properly telling your doctor about the medicines you have been using. Side effects like fever, tiredness and dark coloured urine is common, and doctor should be consulted immediately in such cases.

1. Hydrocodone

This is the most common prescribed drugs around the world, predominantly consumed in U.S. It is prescribed to the people suffering from chronic pain, which is common in about 20% to 30% adults. The pain is more common to females than males. The drug is used to treat moderate to severe pains. It is also prescribed to patients following the dental treatment. The effect of this drug starts after 20-30 minutes of intake and lasts till 4 to 8 hours. Excess intake of this drug can cause side effects like nausea, vomiting, constipation, anxiety, irregular breathing and chest tightness. The patients consuming alcohol have higher chances of side effects than other people. Hydrocodone can be addictive causing psychological and physical dependence.

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