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Chapter: Diseases of The Brain and Nervous System(A Health Education Guide): Neurological Medicines to be used for longer duration

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Some Neurological Medicines to be used for longer duration

Extensively used medicine is aspirin, which is primarily used lifelong by neurologists in preventing paralysis, thinning of blood, and if used optimally, it is very beneficial.

 

1. Extensively used medicine is aspirin, which is primarily used lifelong by neurologists in preventing paralysis, thinning of blood, and if used optimally, it is very beneficial. But a few cases of death due to serious allergy have also been recorded. Nausea, vomiting, acidity, are common side-effects and peptic ulcer can also lead to vomiting of blood. Long-term use can cause excessive bleeding and other side effects. So the doctors have to be very cautious. Another medicine to prevent paralysis is Ticlopidine. Usually in 2% to 3 % of cases decrease in blood white cells occurs apart from allergy, stomach upset, diarrhoea etc. In addition to this in some specific cases oral anticoagulant (Warfarin, Acitrom) drugs are also given to prevent coagulation of the blood. In these cases, every 7 to 15 days Prothrombin Time with INR (a blood test) is necessary to determine the extent of the thinning of the blood because if the Prothrombin Time increases over a limit, hemorrhage can occur and there are many instances of death due to hemorrhage, due to improper supervision and lack of compliance.

 

2. Headache - migraine: If a beta blocker propranolol(Inderal, Ciplar), prescribed extensively for prevention of migraine and high blood pressure is given to an asthma patient, it can cause an attack of asthma. It can also lower the blood pressure and the heart beats If this drug in taken in a large dose for a long time it can cause impotence in men and the circulation of blood in the legs is compromised. The doctor should also see other side - effects. The other effective medicine used in migraine is Flunarizine. Its long-term use leads to depression, Parkinsonism, weight gain, hair loss. In females menstrual cycle can become irregular.

 

3. Antibiotics :These drugs have proved to belifesavers in life threatening diseases like meningitis of the brain. If they are used appropriately in proper dose. But now-a-days it has been observed that these medicines are being used inappropriately and in improper doses in very simple diseases and in most cases unnecessarily. Many of these antibiotics damage the liver and kidneys e.g. drugs like Amino glycoside. Some antibiotics spoil the hearing capacity and cause imbalance (streptomycin). Sometimes the blood becomes too thin and bleeding may start (Cephalosporin), occasionally, penicillin group of antibiotics may cause a severe reaction a few minutes after being injected and the patient may die right in presence of the doctor. Penicillin tablets or ointments can also cause such allergic reactions. Therefore, before prescribing penicillin

and such other medicines it is essential to ask the patient whether he has suffered from such an allergy in the past. These antibiotics should be used only where they are required and before administering a full dose, a test dose is given on the skin and if there is no reaction within half an hour then the full dose is given. Fortunately, such cases are very rare. Unnecessary use of antibiotics leads to resistance and after that only higher drugs have to be used.

4) Quinine :Quinine is used for treating falciparummalaria It can cause serious side effects like whistling in the ears, weakness, vertigo, confusion, seizures or black water fever. Fortunately such circumstances occur rarely. Getting the. blood tested for G6PD is very beneficial before administering quinine.

Finally, once again I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the above mentioned drugs should never be taken without medical advice and supervision The above mentioned particulars are only for the sake of information, which I personally feel can save life.

 

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