How to Help the Patient to Take and Care for His Medicines


The ancients were studying simple plants for their healing properties long before anything precise was known about the nature of drugs. The plants were used to prevent disease, cure illness or relieve symptoms, but nothing was known about their mode of action.

It is only in recent years that the study of drugs has developed into a highly exact science. The simple plants have been analysed and their active principles have been found. Research workers have found ways of producing many of them synthetic­ally, so reducing their cost and increasing their purity. The number of drugs has in­creased, and the action of many is exceed­ingly powerful – so much so that there is now a range of conditions caused by the drugs themselves. Many drugs have side-effects: examples are the drowsiness that results from taking a sea-sickness pill or the weight gain that sometimes comes from taking the contraceptive pill.

Because of their potency and the possibility of side-effects that might be harmful, it is vital that drugs are given only to the person for whom the doctor pre­scribed them. No patient should ever be allowed to use up a drug originally pre­scribed for somebody else.

If you are looking after a patient in the home, you may be called upon to give him medicines. Medicines may contain one drug or more. As long as you exercise due care, give only what the doctor ordered, and follow four basic rules, errors should not occur. These are the four basic rules:

  1. Check the medicine is the right one.
  2. Give the exact amount ordered.
  3. Give it to the patient for whom it was prescribed.
  4. Give it at the time ordered by the doctor. If you want to remember these easily and quickly, think of them as giving:
  • the right amount
  • of the right medicine
  • to the right patient
  • at the right time.
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  2. How to Give Medicines to Children
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  4. How to Give Medicine by Mouth
  5. How to Care for a Patient with an Inflammation

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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