Why drugs do not work: we analyze the main reasons

Medical products (preparations, medicines, vitamins, medicines) are mentioned for informational purposes only. We do not recommend using them without a doctor's prescription. Recommended reading: " Why can't you take medications without a doctor's prescription?". The assortment of a modern pharmacy consists of several thousand different types of drugs, and pharmaceutical factories and factories produce even more drugs. But even with such an abundance of medical products, many patients complain: nothing helps me. And often at the same time they claim that the mass counterfeiting of drugs is to blame. They add "fuel to the fire" publications on Internet resources, videos and articles in the media about falsifications.

In fact, the situation is not as critical as it is shown. The number of counterfeit medicines is small, and the relevant services monitor the situation on the pharmaceutical market as much as possible. When buying medicines in officially working pharmacies, issuing purchase receipts, you can be 99% sure that they are of high quality and effective. And there are completely different explanations for the low effectiveness of drugs. They are worth looking into.

The main secret of drug inefficiency

Until the middle of the 20th century, the list of drugs was rather modest. In addition, most of them could not be purchased at the pharmacy on their own. In medicine, the principle of paternalism was used: the doctor prescribed the patient a treatment regimen, dietary nutrition, physiotherapy procedures, if necessary, and the patient strictly obeyed him. Medical workers enjoyed high prestige. And, according to the statistics of those times, the prescribed medicines helped. No, the drugs were not of any special quality, just compliance with their intake is the main secret of any therapy regimen.

Today, instead of paternalism, the concept of compliance has been introduced. It means the willingness of the patient to fully comply with the recommendations of the doctor. Data from American doctors show that about 100,000 patients die every year due to low compliance, and 10% of hospitalizations are the result of non-compliance with prescriptions.

It is the failure to comply with the intended treatment regimen, as well as the incorrect intake of medicines, that is the main reason for the ineffectiveness of their action. And what exactly could be wrong, and we'll figure it out.

Self-modification of dosage and course of therapy

A visit to the doctor does not always guarantee that the patient will accurately comply with the dosage of medications. The ability to find any information on the Internet, sometimes plays a cruel joke. The most striking example is taking antibiotics. According to a WHO study in 12 countries around the world, 32% of respondents believe that it is possible to stop taking antibacterial agents at the first decrease in symptoms of the disease. This is a rather serious figure, because changing the dosage of antibiotics, reducing the required duration of the course of treatment is dangerous by the emergence of resistance of microorganisms. Increasing the dose will also not speed up the cure for the disease, but, on the contrary, will complicate its course with an overdose and the occurrence of more side symptoms.

The same must be said about the frequency of drug intake. If the doctor recommends taking tablets, capsules or any other dosage form 3 times a day, then you must strictly follow the instructions. Many drugs require constant maintenance of concentration in the body, so it is important not to forget about their intake.

Ignoring possible interactions with drinks

Instructions for the use of medicines mainly contain information on how to drink tablets. In 99% of cases it is recommended to use plain water. But not everyone is closely studying the way medicines are used. And such inattention is another reason for the ineffectiveness of drugs. To be able to recover quickly, it is worth remembering what you should not take with medicines, and why.

Coffee has diuretic properties, so it can remove the active substance from the body faster than it has time to reach its maximum concentration. And due to the presence of caffeine in the composition, it is absolutely impossible to use coffee together with drugs for pressure. Tea only at first glance seems harmless for drinking medicines. It contains tannin, which interferes with the absorption of drugs. Taking antidepressants, papaverine, codeine, remedies for stomach ulcers, enzymes along with tea, there is no doubt that they will not work at the level that we would like. And if you drink iron preparations with tea, a sparingly soluble precipitate forms.

Milk can be drunk only in cases where it is necessary to protect the gastric mucosa from the effects of aggressive drugs: painkillers, for the treatment of tuberculosis. It is recommended to use this drink along with iodine preparations.

Most carbonated drinks are not healthy, because they contain dyes, preservatives, which the human body does not need at all. But this is not the whole danger. The chemical composition of sugary sodas can interact with medications, reducing their effectiveness or exacerbating side effects.

Juices - in the original packaging or freshly squeezed are also not the "alliance" that drugs need. They contain natural acids that can destroy the shell of a tablet, capsule or adversely affect the active substance itself. And if you drink juice with acid - acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), mefenamic or another, you can get serious stomach problems.

Alcoholic beverages are generally contraindicated in all cases. Even if they do not interact with the drug, they become a burden on the heart, and therefore worsen the state of health. And with some drugs they give very dangerous consequences: with aspirin they lead to a stomach ulcer, with antihypertensive drugs - to problems with blood vessels.

Non-adherence to food-based regimen

If a doctor prescribes 4-5 drugs, it is difficult to remember when and how to take it. But such information is very important, because their effectiveness depends on the correct use of drugs.

There are four options for taking medication:

  1. With meals.
  2. After eating.
  3. On an empty stomach (before meals).
  4. Regardless of food intake.

Why is everything so serious? The answer lies in the fact that the active substance has a certain mechanism and absorption rate after ingestion, it can interact with other substances - for example, the components of dishes. If these schemes are violated, the therapeutic effect may not be achieved. In addition, side effects often increase. But this can be easily avoided by just following the manufacturer's instructions.

A few examples of taking medications depending on food:

  • on an empty stomach: infusions, decoctions, tinctures of plants, calcium preparations, antispasmodics, tetracycline;
  • before meals: cholagogues, antacids, drugs that reduce the acidity of gastric juice, anthelmintics, some antibiotics of the macrolide group - erythromycin, clarithromycin, sulfonamides and cephalosporins;
  • during or after meals - fat-soluble vitamins, anticoagulants, metronidazole, tranquilizers, digestive enzymes, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, laxatives.

What will help change the situation

Rescue of a drowning man in the hands of a drowning man is not entirely true in this case. Prevent situations due to which there is a decrease in the effectiveness of drugs, can not only the patient himself, but also medical workers: doctors, pharmacists. To do this, you need to:

  1. Discuss with the patient the goals of treatment with specific drugs. If the patient does not know why he needs these pills or syrup, he may ignore their intake.
  2. Take into account the patient's lifestyle, because some habits also affect the effectiveness of treatment. As already mentioned: alcohol intake, preference for carbonated drinks can reduce the effectiveness of drugs.
  3. Discuss the basic rules for the use of drugs, remind about possible side effects.
  4. ​​
  5. Write prescriptions in an easy to read manner. Today it is possible to provide the patient with a printed treatment regimen.

Ideally, you can also take into account the financial possibilities of the patient, because he may not purchase the drug because of its high price. In this case, the doctor is ready to offer an adequate replacement.

No less important in all this is the role of pharmacy staff. It is they who should once again recall the rules of admission and emphasize why this is so important.