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What Does Medication Actually Do To Your Body?

There is a saying, we are what we eat. So how do we determine the food, medications or supplements that we consume on a daily basis is good for us? In this case, what happens to medication once they are in our bodies? And what functions do they carry out?

Why do we take medicines?

We take medicines for a variety of reasons. Some of the most common reason includes:

  • pain relief

  • to fight infection

  • to fight disease

  • to supplement a deficiency

  • to assist a body mechanism to correct itself

  • to decrease an overabundance of a body substance

  • to balance systems and organs in the body

Form of medication

Besides the normal capsule that we are all familiar with, there are also other forms of medication such as:

  • Sub-lingual, (under the tongue) - tablet, drops.

  • Skin preparation - cream, ointments, gel, patches and so on.

  • Injection - by hypodermic needle.

  • IV - Intravenous - needle into a vein.

  • Into the bowel - suppository/enema.

  • Inhalation - steam inhalation, crystals, and inhaler.

  • Drops - ear/eye/nose.

The process

So now we know the general information and benefits from taking the medicines but what happens after it enters our body? It undergoes 4 main areas such as:

1) Administration

By the form and route as suggested by your doctor

2) Delivery

Once the medicines are inside our body they move into the blood stream then into organs and tissues

3) Performance

Medicines will produce or induce effects

4) Elimination

The body will wash out medicines and waste products associated with them

The type and route plays an important part in determining the effect of the medication on where the drug will enter the body and how quickly it acts. There are different reasons for the selection of type and routes of medications. The last 3 routes also by-pass the stomach where some of the entire drug could be destroyed or diluted by the hydrochloric acid.

Factors that affect the medications you take

There are quite a number of factors that will influence both the absorption rate and the metabolism of medicines. These factors will in turn decide how effective the medication is.

1) Physical

Your weight, age, fat mass and muscle mass determines the flow of the medicine absorption. A good amount of fat mass can help specify how effective the medicines. in terms of age, younger people tend to be able to metabolise and eliminate medications quickly than older people therefore the moderation of the dosage of tables depends highly on the person's age and well being. If not well-monintored, there will be some side effects.

2) Food

Food helps slow down the absorption rate of medication which can either be beneficial or detrimental to the medication's success rate. Hence why there are always instructions given by the doctor or pharmacist to eat it either before food or after food as such. These instructions are given so that the medications will work at their most effective.

3) Other medications/chemicals

Some medications when taken at the same time may not be as effective because some medications have different rate of absorption and metabolism in the body. Always be aware of the instructions given.

These are just some general informations about medicines, the process and the affect that can take place. Always refer to your doctor or pharmacist to be sure.

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