Today’s alphabetical topic can be a touchy one for some. I’m not going to talk about the illegal drugs out there such as marijuana or meth, but the ones I work with every day; prescription drugs.
Diclofenac, doxycycline hyclate, hydrocodone/acetaminophen, psuedoephadrine, guanficine, amoxicillin, penicillin, lisinopril, Lipitor, simvastatin and thousands of others fill the shelves of any pharmacy in all nations. At one time or another, any one of us has taken one of these. Some, like myself are one at least one of these. Sadly, many are addicted to a select few of these.
It has been a year since I entered the world of the pharmacy technician. Everyday, I count out the pills for each patient and wonder to myself what brought them to this point to need medication. Much of the time, I wonder how on earth they came up with the names for some of them while trying to pronounce them close enough for the pharmacists to understand what I’m talking about. In the course of this year, I have figured out which ones are antibiotics, which are for high blood pressure and so forth.
Personally, I call each of them happy pills, not just the pain killers and the mind altering drugs some need. They do things which make people happy.
Don’t get me started on the prices of some of these. They range from nice and cheap (Yay!) to OMG E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E!! My most recent medical problem, an ear infection, showed me just how much it cost for a tiny little, 7.5 ml, bottle of antibiotic and steroid combination costs. That was with insurance helping to bring the cost down. >.<
All these drugs had their beginnings long ago when early man was still bashing rocks together and throwing sticks are big grazers for food. They noticed that when certain plants were eaten, specific things would happen. Take for instance the mint plant. Most would call it a weed with how it spreads quickly and draws more flies than weeds, but it imparts good flavor to drinks and food. Someone noticed that ingesting the mint leaf during a cold helped to open air ways. The curious ones tried boiling it and served as a tea, which helped to strengthen the oils and made it work better. The same could be true of willow bark, which eventually became aspirin. Through trial and error, ancient man found a way to shorten the time they were down with an illness or broken bone through nature
All of that trial and error is still going on today, though there is very little of the natural world left in our everyday medications. Pharmaceutical companies test and create new drugs to help people live longer and happier lives. But, looking at the side affects, I’m left to wonder if we aren’t better off not taking them and letting nature take its course.
Quick Fact: There are still many of the old remedies left to help people through their various illnesses and diseases. Digitalis (foxglove) and Belladonna, while poisonous in nature, are still powerful medicines to have even though they are artificial versions of their live counterparts.
(no wiki link for this one. This is what I’ve learned at work and through my own research for a character)