We all think we know what drugs are and what they mean in our lives. If I ask you to define it, you will surely tell me that they are those substances that help to alleviate or cure illnesses and ailments. But I wonder if you really know what you’re ingesting and how you’re using those substances.

The majority of Spanish citizens, 52% to be exact, medicate themselves, that is to say, they consume medicines without a doctor prescribing them. Most of them do so if they suffer from a cold, flu or other mild ailment and following the advice of family or friends.

These people are not aware that this habit can be very harmful to their health, especially if it is an antibiotic. Its abuse and inappropriate use can encourage the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in your body.

For this reason, from the Mifarma team we feel the obligation to offer you contrasted information and the most essential recommendations on the good use of medicines:

HOW DO MEDICINES WORK IN OUR ORGANISM?

Medicines work by the action of molecules called active principles; they also contain other substances that improve their taste, smell and appearance, with the aim of facilitating their ingestion. So far so good, however, not all people tolerate these substances equally well.

You must take into account factors such as pregnancy, the use of other drugs, peculiarities or conditions of your body that may cause undesirable side effects, … For these reasons, we advise you to use them under the prescription of a doctor and reading the leaflet carefully.

HOW DO YOU CORRECTLY DECIPHER THE PACKAGE LEAFLET OF A MEDICINE?

By law, any medicine must offer you, in a clear and easy to understand way, the most important information about that medicine; you will find it in these sections:

COMPOSITION:

These are the active ingredients, excipients and other elements that make up the medicine. Their knowledge will allow you to know if, a priori, you are going to tolerate them or not.

INDICATIONS:

The diseases for which the medicine is prescribed are named here.

POSTOLOGY:

Information about the dose, frequency and way of taking the drug. You should pay close attention to this, since, depending on your age, weight or sex, the dosage may change.

CONTRAINDICATIONS:

These are the circumstances in which it is not advisable to take the medicine; it may be due to illness, age, pregnancy or breastfeeding, …

PRECAUTIONS:

These are the circumstances in which it is not advisable to use the medicine; these are specific cases that must be described in detail.

SIDE EFFECTS:

They are the numbering of problems and setbacks can cause in your health. They are usually very mild and happen very rarely, but you should be aware of them.

INTERACTIONS:

It is the relationship of other medicines or foods with which the drug is going to have a minor effect or, even, it is not going to work. You must know them if you want to enjoy a totally effective treatment.

CONSERVATION AND SHELF LIFE:

Here are described the optimal conditions for storage so that the drug does not lose its effectiveness, and the date until which the manufacturer advises its use. It is very important that you do not take a medicine that has not kept the recommended storage conditions or that has expired.

Nowadays, information about a medicine is available to almost anyone, thanks to the Internet. Whatever format and source of information you choose, we advise you to follow strictly the recommendations on the proper use of medicines to avoid unpleasant surprises and to use them in the most satisfactory way possible.