medicine and drugs part 1
developing new medicines;
- they are first tested in labs on cells, tissue or organs. if the drug seems to work it is then tested on animals, healthy human voulenteers and finally on patients
- placebos: placebos do not conatin a drug. half the patients are given placebos and half are given the drug. this is to check that he drug being tested really does have an effect on the patient.
- in a double-blind trial neither the doctor nr the patient know who has the placebo and who ahs the drug
- thalidomide was developed as a sleeping pill but doctors realised it could aslo control morning sickness in women. unfortunatly it had not been tesed for use during pregnncy, it caused abnormailites in the babies.
- the drug was banned and testing laws improved. more recently it has been used to treat this such as leprosy but never given to pregnant women.
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medicine and drugs part 2
how effective are medicines?
- statins are drugs which lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.
- they are taken daily by older people.
- heart and strokes have gone down by 40%
- some people prefer herbal remedies. st johns wort is taken to treat depression instead of Prozac. the only way too see which one is better is to conduct a double-blind trial.
- useful drugs made from natural substances have been used for ages.
- recreational drugs are used by people for pleasure (heroin and cocaine).
legal and illegal drugs
- nicotine and caffeine are legal drugs which are used in a recreational way.
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medicine and drugs part 3
does cannabis lead to harder drugs?
- there is evidence that cannabis can cause mental illness in people.
- teens who smoke cannabis increase their risk of depression.
- buying cannabis from dealers puts you into contact with harder drugs that are being sold.
- nearly all heroin users previously smoked cannabis.
drugs in sports
- some athletes are tempted to use drugs to improve their performance.
- steroids are drugs which build up muscle mass. other drugs may increase stamina.
- strong pain killers are banned because the athlete may ignore injury and cause further damage.
- most think it is unethical to use drugs in sport.
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