Since the dawn of man, he has endlessly found ways of preserving himself for survival. Not only did he attempt to find better sources of food, but also developed a system for healing and prolonging life. The quest of man for health continues until the present, where medicine and technology constantly discover newer methods of healing, and possibly even ways of eradicating disease off the face of the planet.
The use of drugs as forms of medication has been around for centuries. Most of the drugs found today have been derived from natural plant extracts, which are still currently being explored today for their potential to save lives. Generally, drugs can be classified into two categories: the pharmaceutical drugs and the recreational drugs. Pharmaceutical drugs can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription, and are intended for treating certain health conditions of varying levels of severity.
On the other hand, recreational drugs have no therapeutic effect whatsoever, and actually present more harm to the body than good. Examples of these are narcotics, illegal stimulants, and hallucinogens.
Drugs can be administered in different ways, whether it is orally like in the form of syrups and capsules, or intravenously like some hormones and chemotherapeutic drugs. Some drugs are inhaled, or only applied topically, or may be inserted in the rectum or vagina as suppositories. Drugs begin their action as they enter the blood stream.
Drugs work by inhibiting or preventing the production of certain enzymes or proteins in the cells. For example, pain killers like ibuprofen work to regulate the production of prostaglandin, which causes pain in the body. Anti allergy drugs that contain anti-histamine inhibit the production of histamine in the blood, which is responsible for allergic reactions like swelling, runny nose, and sneezing. Some drugs are created for the purpose of stimulating the production of certain substances in the cells, so rapid repair of cells and tissues are done.
There are some drugs that work by preventing the growth of microorganisms of the body, to prevent infection or disease. Examples of these are antibiotics like tetracycline or doxycycline, as well as anti-fungals like ketoconazole. These drugs contain compounds that act on the cellular structures of fungi or bacteria, so they are unable to reproduce or thrive in the body.
Take note that some drugs should always be used with a prescription; otherwise they can create side effects instead of help treat your condition.