What Medical Assistants Need to Know About Medications
- What are medications?
- How do medications work?
- Why are medications important?
- What are the different types of medications?
- How are medications prescribed?
- How are medications taken?
- What are the side effects of medications?
- What are the risks of taking medications?
- What are the benefits of taking medications?
- How can I make sure I am taking medications safely?
As a medical assistant it’s important to have a good understanding of medications and how they work. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the basics of medications and what you need to know as a medical assistant
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What are medications?
Medications are substances that are used to treat, prevent, or diagnose disease. They can be taken orally (by mouth), rectally (by anus), vaginally (by vagina), topically (applied to the skin), or injected.
How do medications work?
How do medications work?
There are several different ways that medications can work. The most common way is to block or interference with a specific chemical process in the body. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
– Blocking the action of a chemical messenger (such as a hormone)
– Inhibiting the production of a chemical messenger
– Stimulating the production of a chemical messenger
– Changing the structure of acell so it no longer responds to a chemical messenger
Medications can also work by affecting the way cells communicate with each other, or by directly killing cells (such as cancer cells).
Why are medications important?
There are many reasons why medications are important. They can help to cure or prevent illnesses, relieve symptoms, and improve overall health. When used correctly, medications can be an important part of a medical treatment plan. However, it is important to remember that medications can also have side effects. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider about all the risks and benefits of taking a medication before starting it.
What are the different types of medications?
There are four different types of medications:
1) prescription drugs- these are drugs that can only be taken under the supervision of a healthcare provider, and require a prescription from a doctor or other licensed healthcare provider.
2) over the counter (OTC) drugs- these are drugs that can be bought without a prescription, and are available in most pharmacies and stores.
3) herbal or natural remedies- these are plant-based medicines that may be used to treat various conditions.
4) dietary supplements- these are nutrients that can be taken to improve overall health or address specific deficiencies.
How are medications prescribed?
In order to understand how medications are prescribed, it is important to first understand some Medical Terminology
A “drug” is any substance which, when introduced into the body, has a physiological effect. This includes not only illegal drugs, but also alcohol, tobacco, and any legal prescription or over-the-counter medication.
“Pharmacology” is the study of how drugs interact with living organisms to produce a change in function.
“Pharmacodynamics” is the study of how a drug interacts with a living organism to produce a biological response.
“Pharmacokinetics” is the study of how a drug is absorbed, distributed, metabolized, and excreted by a living organism.
How are medications taken?
There are many different ways that medications can be taken. They can be consumed in pill form, injected, applied topically, or inhaled. The route of administration is determined by the type of medication and the condition being treated. Some drugs must be taken intravenously, which is when they are injected directly into the bloodstream.
Pills are the most common form of medication, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. Some pills are meant to be swallowed whole, while others can be dissolved in water or crushed into powder. Capsules are also a type of pill, but they contain a liquid rather than a powder.
Injections are typically given intramuscularly, which means they are injected into a muscle, or subcutaneously, which means they are injected under the skin. Intravenous injections go directly into the vein. Topical medications are applied to the skin or mucous membranes and include ointments, creams, gels, and patches.
Inhalation is the preferred method of administration for some drugs because it allows them to go straight to the lungs where they can be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. This route is often used for bronchodilators and other respiratory medications.
What are the side effects of medications?
Most people take medications for various reasons. However, many do not know much about the medications they are taking. They may not know what the medication is for, how it works, what the side effects are, or how to properly take it. As a medical assistant you will be responsible for educating patients about their medications. It is important to have a basic understanding of medications so that you can provide this education to patients.
There are four main types of side effects:
1) Allergic reactions- These can range from a mild rash to a life-threatening emergency. If a patient has a known allergy to a medication, they should not take it.
2) Gastrointestinal- These side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain.
3) Cardiovascular- These side effects include an irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, and high blood pressure.
4) Neurological- These side effects include dizziness, headache, and seizures.
It is important to educate patients on the potential side effects of their medications so that they can be aware of what to look for and when to seek medical help.
What are the risks of taking medications?
There are many risks associated with taking medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. It is important to be aware of these risks so that you can make informed choices about the medications you take.
Some of the risks of taking medications include:
– Allergic reactions: You may be allergic to a medication, even if you have taken it before without any problems. Allergic reactions can range from mild ( such as hives or a rash) to severe ( such as trouble breathing or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat). If you have an allergic reaction to a medication, stop taking the medication and call your doctor or medical assistant right away.
– Drug interactions: Taking two or more medications at the same time can sometimes cause drug interactions. Drug interactions can make a medication less effective, or they can cause side effects. If you are taking multiple medications, it is important to tell your doctor or medical assistant so that they can watch for potential drug interactions.
– Side effects: All medications have potential side effects. Some side effects are mild and go away on their own, while others can be more serious and require medical treatment. Be sure to tell your doctor or medical assistant if you experience any side effects while taking a medication.
What are the benefits of taking medications?
There are many reasons why people choose to take medication. Some people take medication to prevent or treat a medical condition, while others take medications to improve their quality of life.
People who take medication may experience different types of benefits. For example, people who take medication may:
-Feel more alert and energetic
-Be able to think more clearly
-Have improved mood and concentration
-Have less pain
-Have more stable emotions
How can I make sure I am taking medications safely?
You can make sure you are taking medications safely by doing the following:
-Read the medication label or patient information sheet every time you take a medication.
-Take the medication as prescribed. Do not change the dose or stop taking the medication without talking to your healthcare provider first.
-Know what the medication is for and what side effects to expect.
-Make sure you know how to take the medication (e.g., with food, on an empty stomach, etc.).
-Do not take more than one form of the same medication (e.g., do not take a pill and liquid form of the same medication).
-Do not mix medications unless instructed to do so by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
-Do not take herbal supplements unless approved by your healthcare provider.