B1 3.1 Developing new medicines
- When we develop new medicines they have to be tested and trialled extensively before we can use them.
- Drugs are tested to see if they work well. We also make sure they are not too toxic and have no unaaceptable side effects.
- Thalidomide was developed as a sleeping pill and was found to prevent morning sickness in early pregnancy. It has not been fully tested and it caused birth defects.
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B1 3.2 How effective are medicines?
- Statins lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 40%.
- The effectiveness of both prescribed and non-prescribed drugs can only be measured in proper double-blind trials.
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B1 3.3 Drugs
- Drugs change the chemical processes in your body, so you may become addicted to them.
- Addiction is when you become physically or mentally dependent on a drug.
- Smoking cannabis may cause mental health problems.
- Hard drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, are very addictive and can cause serious health problems.
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B1 3.4 Legal and illegal drugs
- Many recreational drugs affect the nerous system, particularly the brain. Some are more harmful than others.
- Some recreactional drugs are legal and others are illegal.
- The overall impact of legal drugs on health is much greater than illegal drugs because more people use them.
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B1 3.5 Does cannabis lead to hard drugs?
- People can progress from using recreational drugs such as cannabs to addiction to hard drugs because cannabis is illegal and has to be obtained from a drug dealer.
- Cannabis smoke contains chemicals which may cause mental illness in some people. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to this effect.
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B1 3.6 Drugs in sport
- Anabolic steroids and other banned performance-enhancing drugs are used by some athletes.
- The use of performance-enhancing drugs is considered unethical by most people.
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