8 Types of Medicines

types of medicine

Photo by: ALAMY

When we think of medications, we often think of pills or those in tablet form. There are actually several types of medicines.  There are those that can be bought over-the-counter, can be acquired only if there is prescription of a doctor, and can be exclusively bought from hospitals.  So here’s a quick rundown of the different types of medications, which you may find helpful in figuring out which type you might need in case you are sick and feeling blue.

1. Antibiotics

  • Most of us have taken an antibiotic, which is the type of medicine that fights bacterial infections. Antibiotics come either in capsules, tablet or in liquid form which all work by killing bacteria or slowing down their multiplication so that the body’s immune system can fight off the infection.
  • A tablet may come in small, round or oval shape. Some tablets are enteric-coated that work when fully dissolved in the stomach. The active ingredients in these tablets come to the site of absorption via bloodstream.
  • Capsules come in plastic shell that dissolves slowly in the stomach. Some capsules can be taken apart so the contents can be mixed with a favorite food. Others need to be swallowed whole so the medicine is not absorbed until the stomach acid breaks down the capsule shell.
  • Liquid or syrups are concentrated solutions with a dash of sugar, with the active ingredient of the medicine dissolved in the liquid. This type of medicine is preferred by kids, elderly or even those who have difficulty in swallowing tablet or capsule.

2. Drops

Drops are used directly to the affected body part such as eye, ear or nose.

3. Lozenges

If you’ve had sore throat before, probably you are familiar with lozenges, which pertain to that type of medicine that comes in medicated tablet form that should be dissolved in the mouth.

4. Inhalants

Whenever we have colds or asthma, inhalants come in handy, which is that type of medicine that is taken into the body through the nose. The active part of the medicine is released under pressure directly into the lungs.

5. Injections or vaccines

Among the most popular types of medicines are injections or vaccines. Injections or vaccines usually contain a small amount of an agent that resembles a specific germ or germs that have been modified or killed. When someone is injected or vaccinated, it sets up the body’s immune system to “remember” the germ so it will be able to fight off infection by that germ in the future.  Injections could either be intramuscular (IM), which means that it is directed to the muscles, or injected directly into the bloodstream (IV).

6. Patches

Certain medicines are designed as patches which are absorbed by the body through the skin.

7. Creams, lotions or ointments

There are also creams, lotions or ointments that are applied directly onto the skin, into the eyes or ears. These come in tubular form or in bottles.

8. Suppositories

Suppositories are those inserted ano-rectally, where the medication is quickly absorbed. Though can be an unpleasant form of medicine to oversee these are found to be very helpful in cases where the patient is vomiting or probably to vomit.

Taking medicines may feel like a hassle sometimes, but medicines are the most effective treatments available for many illnesses. If you ever have any questions about what a certain type of medicine does or how you should take it, it is best that you consult your doctor.

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