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Know Your Medicine

The more you know about any medicine you take, the better you can be sure you are taking it properly.


But what is a medicine? A medicine or drug is any substance that is meant to change the way your body deals with an illness or injury or to maintain your health and wellbeing.


Medicines come in many forms, such as tablets, liquids, inhalers, drops, patches, creams, lotions, suppositories, and injections. Some are taken by mouth, while others are applied to parts of the body.


What do medicines do? Here are some of them:

  • Treat your condition (e.g., an antibiotic to treat certain infections)
  • Control your condition (e.g., a medicine to lower your blood pressure)
  • Treat the symptoms of your condition (e.g., a pain reliever for toothache)
  •  Prevent you from becoming unwell (e.g., vaccination against a disease)


What are the different types of medicines?

Prescription medicines are medicines that you buy with a doctor’s order (prescription) such as antibiotics, blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol medicines, etc. Prescription medicines also include biological products such as vaccines, insulin and blood products.


Over-the-counter medicines (OTC) are products you can buy in the pharmacy or drugstore without a prescription. Examples are antacids, laxatives, pain relievers/fever reducers, cough and cold medicines, and many others.


Food supplements and herbal products, like OTC medicines, as they can be bought without a prescription. Food supplements refer to those used to supplement the ordinary or usual diet with any vitamin, mineral or other dietary ingredient. Examples include Tiki-tiki® drops and tiki-tiki® star syrup, Nutrilin® drops and syrup, and Appebon® Kid syrup.


Traditionally-used herbal products are preparations from plant materials and classified as either OTC or food supplement. Example includes Coldease® softgel capsule.


Household Remedies are preparations containing medicinal substances of common or ordinary use to relieve common physical ailments; these can be bought without a prescription. Household remedies are available in pharmacies or drugstores and other establishments such as supermarkets and sari-sari stores.

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