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Drugs

SideEffects.com provides information for consumers to better understand the use, prescription, efficacy and side effects of drugs. The general public usually does not have the time to research the pharmaceutical products that they are taking. In some instances, they also do not understand the medical terminologies and scientific terms in the medical literature. SideEffects.com explains this information in easy to understand language for better appreciation of their medication. The information in these pages is based on the latest research and studies published in reputable medical publications.

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Drugs have been used by the medical profession since ancient times. These are made and developed for the treatment of specific conditions. There are over-the-counter medicines and prescription drugs, and it is necessary to know what to use for any ailment. Prescription drugs are dispensed only on the advice of a physician. These are potent medicines that may have harmful side effects. Over-the-counter drugs are safe for general sale and use, but care should still be taken when using them.

SideEffects.com is dedicated to the responsible dissemination of information regarding medications and pharmaceutical products. We ensure the reliability of the information we provide regarding these drugs. The information about the drugs, as discussed in these pages are for the good and benefit of our readers.

The resources below have been offered to help narrow the search to specific, targeted drug info. Information can be obtained for both healthcare and consumers professionals on prescription and over the counter medicines.

Different criteria are used in the indexing of drugs. They are usually classified depending on the group that does the classification and the reason for the classification.

From a therapeutic standpoint, a drug could be indexed according to the manner it is used for the treatment of illness. Others classify drugs based on their chemical composition or active ingredients.

The government developed a very basic system for the indexing of medicines and offered a general system of classification for drugs that are commercially sold for medicinal purposes. A law was passed to help in deciding the drugs that will be approved for specific uses. The Food and Drug Administration was created with the power to determine the safety of medicinal drugs, food products, and cosmetics in the country. The law has been amended many times to allow for considerations that are used in investigating the efficacy of drugs or to incorporate new information or issues such as preparation for bioterrorism and other for other regulations that govern new developments in the manufacture of drugs.

Medicinal drugs usually fall into two categories:

  • Prescription drugs are those that are dispensed only with a written prescription from a qualified healthcare professional such as a physician or a dentist.
  • Over-the-counter drugs are those that can be dispensed even without a written prescription of a healthcare professional.

There is also an additional designation between drugs that made of chemical compounds and those that biologic drugs.

Chemical compounds are drugs that are produced by the combination of specific chemicals in fixed proportions. These drugs are typically marketed by big pharmaceutical companies. Chemical compounds are divided into:

  • Brand-name drugs are drugs that are marketed by virtue of a patent and distributed by the patent owner.
  • Generic drugs are drugs with the same basic composition as the brand-name drugs but manufactured by various companies using different names. Generic drugs are often less expensive than brand-name drugs.

Biologic drugs are made of different range of therapeutic products such as gene therapy materials, vaccines, recumbent therapeutic proteins, and more. They are different from chemical drugs in that they are manufactured using living organisms or systems, such as animals, plants, or microorganisms like a bacterium.

These products need very strict regulations as they are very sensitive to changes in the environment, and even the slightest alteration in the condition under which they are manufactured can alter their composition. Biologic drugs are indexed as;

  • Patented biologics – They are manufactured and sold only by the company that holds the patent.
  • Biosimilars – They are the generic versions of biologics. They are rare because of the difficulty of establishing a biosimilar drug that is exactly equivalent to the original biologic in terms of composition and effectiveness.

Biologic drugs are usually marketed as prescription drugs. Most often they are specialty drugs that are designed for a very specific use.

There various methods of classifying drugs, usually depending on the group that is making the classification. But regardless of who is making the drug classification, it is common to find indexing methods that are based on the drug’s chemical composition, therapeutic intent, and mechanism of action.

It is important to keep the drug index updated and accurate.