Four drug myths you probably believe

Four drug myths you probably believe


Eighty-seven percent of Australians over the
age of fifty use at least one medicine each day. Forty percent of those use five or more medicines. We know that medicines have a really important
role in improving the health of Australians. They prevent disease or treat symptoms of
problems that we have right now. Getting the right information is a critical
ingredient to using those medicines safely and effectively. There is a number of common myths about medicines,
people often tell me, but when you break them down, many of them aren’t true. I’m interested in challenging those myths
so that people have right information so that they can use their medicine safely and effectively. Many medicines are available in different
brands. Each of those alternative brands have the
same active ingredient and have been tested to make sure that they achieve the same concentration
of that medicine in your blood. That’s what we know is associated with the
benefit that medicine provides and even some of the harmful effects. Those alternative brands may have some things that are different though. They could have different inactive ingredients,
different packaging and labelling and the shape and color of the tablet or capsule could
be quite different. But given that these medicines are carefully
tested to make sure that they meet the same standards for quality, safety and efficacy,
people should be confident that they’ll do the same thing. The marketing claims for a number of pain-relieving medicines suggest that they are able to target particular parts of your body. The reality is quite different. When you take your medicine orally, it goes
into your bloodstream and all parts of your body. It can’t target a particular type of pain. The risk is that, if you believe that a medicine
can specifically target one part of your body, you might be taking medicine for your headache
and your back pain and get double the dose that you really need. So, remember if you have pain, talk to your
pharmacist or doctor about which of the pain-relieving medicines is most suitable for you. One in three Australians over the age of fifty
regularly take medicine to lower their cholesterol and reduce their risk of heart disease. The statin medicines are the most commonly
prescribed. These medicines provide enormous benefit in
reducing the burden of heart disease in an individual and also in the community. But many people don’t realize that the benefits
of using a statin to lower their cholesterol, also requires them to modify their lifestyle. By that I mean increasing the amount of exercise
they do and modifying their diet to eat less fat. These things as a package reduce your risk of heart
disease and if you only take the tablet, then you won’t receive the same benefit. Combing alcohol with prescription medicines
always should be done carefully. There’s a number of medicines where alcohol
should not be used. This
includes a number of sedatives, some antihistamines and also many of the medicines used to treat
mental health problems. But the one that I’ve found most interesting
over the years is people that say, I’m on an antibiotic I can’t drink alcohol. There’s only one class of antibiotics
with the potential interaction with alcohol and even the controlled studies there really couldn’t
show a real problem. So, the reality is that alcohol and antibiotics
don’t interact. What does interact is alcohol and you. If you’re on antibiotics and you’re unwell,
then alcohol will affect you more. So, it’s really important to use alcohol
carefully in that setting and avoid any problems. So, we’re working towards the goal of personalized
medicine. That’s the right medicine for right person
with the right information that they can understand and use, to get the best out of that medicine. So, they may be a number of myths about the
medicines that you’re taking. Ask your pharmacist or doctor to explain the facts to you.

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