Once a new drug is on the market, some of its characteristics still need additional research. What else is being studied?

Which dosage is the most effective?
Which minimum dosage is considered effective?
How is the large dosage of the drug tolerated and at what dosage is the occurrence of side effects evident in most patients? 1
To answer questions about the relationship between the effect and concentration of the drug, you can refer to such a concept as the “therapeutic window”. This term refers to the range of concentrations from the minimal therapeutic to the first signs of side effects that evoke the appearance.

Dosage of medicines

This diagram shows what happens when taking one dose of the drug. The curve shows the dynamics of the content of the drug in the blood. If there is no overdose of the drug, its concentration in the blood does not rise so high as to cause side effects; while during a certain period of time its content remains within the framework that allows to provide the necessary therapeutic effect (the “therapeutic window”). Therefore, each drug is accompanied by recommendations on dosages and schedules of admission to ensure maximum effect in the average patient.

When determining the dosage of the drug, the balance of its effectiveness and safety is taken into account. Naturally, dosages for people of different ages differ. More severe cases most often require a higher dosage of the same medication. For example, the dose of analgesic in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis can be much greater than when treating a tension headache.

It is also important that some drugs are shown to take in a definitely limited time. Some antibiotics, for example, can be taken only one week – the time for which they are believed to cope with the infection. Continued medication for longer may lead to undesirable effects, which may require the removal of other antibiotics. If you need to take painkillers for more than 3-5 days to get rid of a headache, it is recommended to consult your doctor. Otherwise, there is a risk of occurrence of so-called headaches of drug cancellation.

Do not neglect the prescribed schedule of medication. With regular passes, an insufficient amount of the drug can not fully provide the desired result. If it is prescribed to take the medicine 4 times a day, this means that the period of action of the drug in the patient’s blood is short enough. Do not take the medicine in larger doses and only 2 times a day, as long-term effect of therapy will not be provided.

Below we give a number of possible precautions that will save you from an accidental overdose of the drug or from mistakes made during its application.

Always read the instructions for use before taking the medication. Strictly follow the dosages. Keep medicines in their original packaging and out of the reach of children.
Be careful when taking the drug. Regardless of whether it was purchased under the prescription of your doctor or over-the-counter department, follow the prescribed recommendations strictly.
Do not store any medications you do not need. Once a half a year, conduct an audit of the home medicine chest and get rid of drugs with expired shelf life.
Always tell your doctor about previous cases of overdose.
Be careful when taking several different drugs or substances (including alcohol) at the same time, as they can react with each other and lead to undesirable results (you can find out about the possible mutual influence of the constituents of the drug with a pharmacist or doctor).
If it seems to you that you have taken too much of a dose of medication, contact a specialist.

If signs of an overdose of the drug are confirmed, urgent measures will have to be taken. First, tell the doctors the exact name of your medicine, the amount taken, and the time of taking the drug. Doctors of the “first aid” will be able to evaluate the characteristics of the drug on its packaging and evaluate the strength of the dose you have taken.

Summarizing the above, it is important to exercise caution when taking medication. ALWAYS strictly follow the recommendations for taking the drug indicated in the instructions for use or on the package, as well as the instructions of your doctor. If you have any doubts when taking the drug, even with strict adherence to recommended doses, you should also consult a doctor.

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