Different Types Of Medicines

The word medicine originates from the Latin word ars medicina which means the art of healing. Medicine involves many health care methods that are necessary to maintain health, prevent illness and treat diseases. Biomedical research, health science and medical technology are used in regular medicine for diagnosing and treating various diseases through medications, surgery or therapies. Every medicine has two names: a generic one and a brand name. The brand name is clearly written on the packaging but the generic name also gets mentioned somewhere. Combination medicines are grouped under one brand name. But the individual ingredients are always listed on the packaging.

A group of medicines that function in the same way have a same sounding generic name. Penicillin, ampicillin, amoxycillin and flucloxacillin are all under the generic group antibiotics. Some medicines can have one or more brand names. Many medicine companies can make the same medicine but each will have their own name. A company can also name the same medicines differently in different countries.

There are three main categories of medicines: prescription, over-the-counter or OTC and complementary. Complementary medicines are also known by the names of alternative or traditional medicines. Prescription medicines are the regular medicines while OTC medicines can be both regular medicines as well as hygiene products. Prescribed medicines can be purchased from a pharmacy or a chemist only if one has a prescription from a doctor. Antibiotics, strong painkillers and contraceptive pills need a prescription. OTC medicines like cold and cough expectorants, mouthwash or sunscreen do not need any prescriptions. They can be bought at any pharmacy or even at a supermarket or health food shop.

Complementary medicines include homoeopathic medicines, vitamins, minerals, herbal products and ingredients for aromatherapy. These products are also available without any prescription. Alternative medicine is gradually becoming very popular with people and many forms of alternative treatments have now been recognized by practitioners of regular medications. Many doctors are now working together with alternative therapists in treating various diseases.

Homoeopathy is probably the most common form of alternative treatment. The treatment complements the body's own efforts to regain health. Homeopathy treats health problems through dilute doses of medicines that are made from natural substances like plant extracts or minerals. There are very few side effects of homoeopathic treatment. Ayurveda is another treatment that uses meditation, yoga, diet, exercise, herbs and internal cleansing to restore the health of both the body and the mind.

The Chinese have quite a few types of alternative therapies like Tai-Chi and Chinese meditation. Different kinds of meditations are also an accepted form of alternative therapy. Therapeutic touch is another form of therapy that uses touch to promote relaxation and healing. This therapy can treat a variety of problems from muscle aches to severe stress.

Acupuncture is a widely used alternative medicine treatment involving the use of fine needles. Certain pressure points in the body get stimulated due to the insertion of fine needles into the skin and underlying tissues. This helps to release the flow of energy. Naturopathy is the process of using the body's natural healing abilities to prevent and treat diseases.