The key aims of drug growth are efficacy and security. Because all medications can harm in addition to aid, security is relative. The distinction between the typical effective dose and the dose which leads to acute or life-threatening unwanted effects is known as the margin of security. A broad margin of security is desired, however when treating a harmful condition or if there aren’t any other choices, a narrow margin of security often must be approved. If a medication’s usual effective dose can also be poisonous, doctors don’t use the medication unless the circumstance is serious and there’s not any safer alternative.


The most useful drugs are powerful and, for the most part, secure. Penicillin is such a medication. Except for men and women that are allergic to it, penicillin is practically nontoxic, even in massive doses. On the flip side, barbiturates, which were commonly used as sleep aids, may interfere with breathing, dangerously reduced blood pressure, and even result in death if taken in excess. Newer sleep aids like temazepam and zolpidem possess a broader margin of safety than barbiturates do.


Designing effective medication with a broad margin of security and several side effects can’t always be attained. Consequently, some medications have to be used although they have an extremely narrow margin of security. As an instance, warfarin, among those medications which are taken to stop blood clotting, may lead to bleeding, but it’s used when the requirement is so good that the threat has to be tolerated. Individuals who take warfarin need regular checkups to find out if the medication is causing the blood to clot too much, too small, or suitably.


Clozapine is just another example. This medication often helps individuals with schizophrenia when all other medications have proved unsuccessful. However, clozapine has a severe negative effect: It may reduce the production of white blood cells, which are required to safeguard against disease. Due to this risk, those who take clozapine should have their blood tested regularly provided that they take the medication.

To make sure their treatment program is as safe and effective as possible, people should maintain their healthcare professionals well advised about their health history, drugs (like over-the-counter medication) and supplements (like medicinal herbs) which they’re currently taking, and any other applicable health details. Additionally, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask a physician, nurse, or pharmacist to clarify the goals of therapy, the kinds of side effects and other issues that can grow, and also the degree to which they could take part in the treatment program.