Wonder Drugs of Our Time
Today, we are living in a world with pollutions in the air, chemicals in the food, stress in the office, and anxiety from the unstable economics. All these factors add up to an unhealthy life style causing people’s immunity to deteriorate. As a result, we are more susceptible to allergy, heart disease, obesity, respiratory infection, and bodily injury. But, don’t worry and relief is on the way in the form of wonder drugs that can temporarily eliminate the discomfort, mask the pain, and numb the nerve to enable us to live a normal and tolerable life. We do not know the long term effects of these drugs. But, without them, the quality of life will be out of our control. Of course, there is a better remedy. But that requires a whole scale life style change: converting to green energy, using the public transport systems, paying more for organic food, learning to be holistically competitive at work, and exercising the body as often as the mind. Before we can do all that, these drugs will be our best friend.
It came to the market in 1897 to relieve symptoms caused by the flu – headache, fever, and joint pain. It works by preventing the body from releasing the chemicals that cause inflammation, pain, and fever. It does not eliminate the root cause of the flu – the virus. As long as the body is still healthy and free from the stress of mental discomfort, the body’s autoimmune system will work its way to combat and eradicate the foreign invaders. Unfortunately, Aspirin has the side effects of causing stomach ulcers and bleeding to some people. Due to the availability of better drugs, Aspirin is no longer taken by people with the flu. But, its other property as a blood thinner keeps it a popular drug for people with heart disease.
It came to the market in 1956. It has the same function as the Aspirin without the stomach ulcer and blood thinning side effects. Since then, it has become the ideal drug to relieve the discomfort caused by the flu and other minor physical pains. However, overdosing the drug can cause possible liver failure as it is very common to find a bottle of Tylenol in the household’s medicine cabinet.
Everyone has experienced physical pains in life. Most people will choose to endure the pain which will eventually go away. When the pain causes sleepless night and cuts into the quality of life, people will take Tylenol. When that fails to relieve the discomfort, upon the recommendation of friends or doctor, people will try Aleve. Aleve reliefs all sort of bodily pains and internal inflammations caused by injury, illness, or sickness. It is more effective than Tylenol by blocking the chemicals that produce pain and inflammation throughout the body than just at the nervous system. However, it has worst side effects of stomach ulcer and bleeding than Aspirin. Eating solid food while taking the drug can reduce the drug’s corrosive action on the stomach and intestine linings.
At school and in the chemistry class, we learned that the stomach was like a test tube where chemical reactions were taking place constantly. Food that we put in our mouth and swallow ends up in the stomach where it is mixed with digestive chemicals. One of the chemicals is the acid. When the stomach releases too much acid for whatever reason including a stressful environment, uncomfortable feelings like gas, acid reflux, or gastric ulcer condition can result. People used to have to live with the discomfort for life. But, no more, thanks to a family of acid reducer/inhibitor drugs. One of the more popular pharmaceuticals is the Pepcid. It is available without a prescription and is an H2 histamine blocker. It works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, thus, helps heal and prevent ulcers and improves symptoms such as heartburn and stomach pain. Consult the doctor for possible side effects and dosage as they vary from person to person.
Spring is a time of color and growth whence flowers of all kinds sprout to life. It is a time to be out door to soak in the scenery and suck in the fresh air. But, for some people, it is a season to hide indoor because the invisible pollens released by the blossoming flowers will trigger constant sneezing and running nose. They are over-sensitive autoimmune symptoms where the microscopic pollen particles are treated like foreign objects. The body’s respiratory system is forced to unleash antibody to fight the invaders.
But, relief is on the way in the form of the over-the-counter pill like the Claritin and Allegra or the prescription steroid nose spray like the Beconase and Flonase. They all work by inhibiting the body’s release of the antibody, histamine, thus, preventing the discomforting symptoms. Both types of drugs have side effects. People shall use them discreetly as they enjoy the great out door in the spring time.
We live in a time of plenty; plenty to eat and drink, plenty of sitting around in the office, in the car, and in front of the TV. As we take in more and put out less, our body converts the excess into fats in the belly and cholesterol in the blood stream. This results in high blood pressure, potential blockage of arteries, and over-worked heart that eventually may lead to CHD (Coronary Heart Disease). For those people who do not want to change the life style, the easy way to minimize the dreadful consequence of CHD is to take the prescription drug, Lipitor. Since its debut in 1996, it has become the best selling drug at the tune of 125 billion dollars. Lipitor works by reducing the levels of "bad" cholesterol while increasing levels of "good" cholesterol. In rare cases, it can cause the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue leading to kidney failure.
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