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Three Common Medication Misconceptions

By Edited Dec 17, 2013 0 0

It Shouldn't Have Side Effects

Have you ever seen those infomercials claiming their pills that have certain benefits claiming to not be a drug, that  have absolutely No side effects? First, let's define drug:

“A chemical substance used in the treatment, cure, prevention, or diagnosis of disease or used to otherwise enhance physical or mental well-being.”[4]

So if drugs offer some benefit then why would you buy something that does nothing to help you?

If a drug has no side effects, it has no effect on the body. Drugs are supposed to be beneficial, but sometimes they aren't always so.

It is very important to consider side effects that is in certain medication; however, they cannot be always be avoided. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication you are unsure about.

Natural Medication Is the Best

There is a common misconception about how companies make drugs. That there is some synthetic and unnatural way they are produced. However most medication has a natural source, such as aspirin. A willow in Europe and Asia, called Salix Alba, [2] makes the main ingredient in aspirin, salicylic acid.

So why doesn't the pharmacist just break off and hand you a piece of bark? Because it would burn and maybe poison you. Its natural form is in such abundance that you would cure your headache, but create a few other problems for yourself.

This is what medicinal chemists try to do. Extract the benefit and try to cut the negative as much as possible.

Natural isn't always better; however, most medications derive from a natural source, and then made safer and better.


Brand Name Drugs are the Only Medications That Work

Somehow, there is some suspicion around using generic medications. Thinking that these drugs are created haphazardly or cheaply to get you to take it, leading some to the conclusion that brand name medications are required, and thus having to pay hundreds of extra dollars for their medication.

First, some facts about generic drugs. Drug companies do make these drugs. Just because it doesn't come from Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson doesn't mean they were created by Mexican sweat factories. These companies seek to make a profit as well, but in a different strategy.

U.S. Law states that the active ingredient in generic must be exactly the same as its brand name, as well as dosage and safety. The only main difference is in the inactive ingredients used to put the drug together. However they still have to undergo strict testing from the FDA.[1]

Then how do these generic companies get away with charging so much less? Simply, they did not have to spend millions of dollars to develop a brand new medication. It takes around 10 years for a drug to be sold legally in pharmacies. 10 years without any profit and if the FDA does not approve of the drug, then they are out of that money. Then, if FDA approves of the drug, the company  has 20 years before a competitor can make a generic. This is why you can see a thirty-day supply of Nexium priced at $200 or more. They are trying to make the most money from the drug that they can, while they can.

Hopefully some light has been shed on these common misunderstandings in pharmaceutical medications and I hope it allows you to make correct decisions that will benefit you and your wallet.



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  1. "Generic Vs Brand Drugs." HealthSmart.com. 3/05/2013 <Web >
  2. "What is natural aspirin?." ShareCare.com. 3/05/2013 <Web >
  3. Joshua Rodefer, PhD "Why does it take so long to approve a drug for use?." MadScience. 3/05/2013 <Web >
  4. "Definition of Drugs." Dictionary.com. 3/05/2013 <Web >

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