Meaning of drugs
Drugs are substances that are taken into the body to cure diseases or illnesses. They are given to sick people by a doctor or nurse to make them feel better.
Drugs can be taken through the mouth or injected into the body.
Drugs may be liquid or solid. Liquid drugs are called syrup while solid drugs are called tablets, caplets or capsules.
Categories of drugs
Categories refer to different classes (or groups) we can put different drugs. Drugs can be divided into the following groups or categories:
1 Legal drugs
These are drugs that are not common but which we can use if prescribed (given to us) by a doctor. The drug seller will not sell such drugs if the buyer does not present the prescription form (the card or paper where doctor wrote the drug). Examples of legal drugs are Valium 5 and Augmentin.
2 Socially acceptance drugs
These are drugs that are well known by people, and that are sold at drug stores or given by doctors in the hospital. They are sold without a doctor’s prescription. They are not harmful and can be used to cure illness like pains and aches. They include Paracetamol/ Ampicilin and cough syrups.
3 Illegal drugs
These are drugs that are considered harmful to the body and banned. The law prevents people from using them. Anybody found with such drugs would be arrested. Examples include heroin and cocaine.
Types of drugs
1 Syrup – Syrup is a drug in liquid form. It can be taken with spoons.
Examples of syrup are cough syrup, blood tonics, ampicillin syrup and paracetamal syrup. Babies and children usually use syrups.
2 Tablets – These are in solid form and in different shapes. The ones in oblong shape like capsules are called caplets. They are always contained in sachets or bottles. Examples are paracetamol tablet, vitamin C tablet, chloroquine and aspirin tablet.
3 Capsules – Capsules are medicine in powdered form but put in small containers that can be swallowed. We use water to take
capsules. Examples are ampicillin capsule, amoxicillin capsule and tetracycline capsule.
4 Powdered drugs – These are drugs in powder form put in sachets. They are usually mixed with water for swallowing. Examples are some painkillers and anti-constipation drugs.
5 Ointments – These drugs are smooth substances like grease (pomade) that are rubbed on the skin to heal a wound or sore.
Examples are balms, antiseptic creams and embrocation.
6 Injections – These are liquids drugs that cannot be taken through the mouth but passed into the body with a syringe. Injections can be taken through the buttocks, arms or thighs. Examples are
chloroquine injection and penicillin injection.
Benefits of drugs to our body
Drugs can be used for the following benefits:
1 We take drugs to cure diseases and illnesses
2 We also take drugs to protect us from sickness or diseases. An example of such a drug is the polio vaccine.
Ways of taking drugs
The mentioned drugs are taken in different ways. Sometimes, the doctors may tell us the way to use a particular drug. We should obey the instruction. This is because doctors and other medical workers like the
nurses and the pharmacists are experts.
The various ways of taking drugs are:
1 Swallowing – Drugs like tablets, caplets and capsules could be taken by swallowing with water.
2 Drinking – Syrup drugs are taken by swallowing. They do not require water since they are already in liquid form. We can use spoon to measure syrup.
3 Injecting – We take some drugs through injections when we go to hospitals and clinics. Injections are liquid drugs that cannot be taken through the mouth but are passed into the body through the buttocks, the arm or some other parts of the body. A syringe is used to pass it to the body.
4 Inhaling – We inhale some drugs by breathing in the vapour through our mouth or nose. Examples of drugs that are inhaled
are inhalers for cough and catarrh and inhalers for asthma.
5 Rubbing – Ointments like balm and rub are taken by rubbing some quantity into the body. This can be used to heal a wound or treat a pain in the body. Some ointment can also be used to cure skin diseases like chicken pox, eczema and pimples.