Drug allergy is a hypersensitivity condition of the body against a certain drug manifesting most frequently in various skin rea*ctions, bronchiostenosis and oedema, while the most severe form of allergy is anaphylactic shock, which is an acute life-threatening allergic rea*ction connected with oedema of the respiratory tract. Drugs which may induce an allergic rea*ction contain, for example, certain antibiotics, acetylsalicylic acid or local anaesthetics.
Drug form is the complete form of medical preparations in which, except for the prescribed dose of an active substance additives are added thus getting the drug form suitable for its administration while masking its adverse appearance, taste or odour connected with the drug administration, the drug onset of efficacy is postponed, the drug effect is extended, etc. Drug form is represented, for example, by tablets (various types of tablets including vaginal, chewing and others), capsules, injections, ointments, suppositories, solutions and a number of others; a single active substance can be administered in various drug forms. A drug form may have a significant impact on the active substance characteristics. For each drug form to fulfil its role, certain administration rules are required which are included on the leaflet and the patient is informed about them by his or her physician or pharmacist.
Drug registration means permission granted by the relevant state authority (State Institute of Drug Control in the Czech Republic) to use and distribute a certain drug in the Czech Republic; on the basis of the registration proceedings each drug is given a registration number and registration itself is valid for 5 years. Then it must be renewed. The main aim of registration is to ensure that the patients get only safe, effective drugs of high quality.
Drug storage conditions
The correct storage of the drug is important in order to maintain its efficacy and safety; the majority of drugs should be stored at a temperature of up to 25°C, protected against light and humidity. However, certain substances require special storage, for example at a lower temperature, i.e. they should be kept in the refrigerator (for example some hormones, ointments and vaccines); all drugs should be kept out of the reach of children; drugs which are not stored under the recommended conditions might degrade even prior to the expiration date.
The effects of drugs may be influenced by a series of external and internal factors, therefore, a successful treatment requires the correct use of drugs. For example it is necessary to follow the recommendations given by the physician or pharmacist on drug administration relating to food intake (fasting means 30 minutes before meals or 2 hours after meals) and even having a drink after drug administration should not be underestimated (for the majority of drugs it is recommended to drink water or mild lukewarm tea; the optimum quantity in adults is considered to be 250 ml of drink. With certain drugs it is recommended to use milk as a drink, but on the contrary, with some drugs milk is not suitable at all; you should be careful regarding acid drinks, fruit juices, coffee, dark tea and of course alcohol). In some cases the time of day that the drug is administered can play an important role (some drugs are to be administered in the morning, while others before going to bed). Certain drugs should be used regularly for a certain period of time, some for a person’s whole life, while others are used only when problems occur. When using certain drugs it is advisable to avoid sunshine, etc.
Dyes are additives used for colour treatment of the drug appearance, followed by differentiation of the similar shaped drugs containing various active substances, and if needed, to differentiate drugs of various concentrations of the same active substance.
The drug expiration date indicates until when a drug can be used without risking its efficacy or safety; the expiration date must always be indicated on the drug packaging (usually a month and year); expired drugs must not be administered and they should be returned to the pharmacy to be disposed of; the time from the date of drug production until the expiration date is identified as the drug shelf life usually being 2-5 years, while for IPL it may be several weeks; in special instances even days and hours (for example suspensions with antibiotics or eye drops have a shorter shelf life). The IPL expiration date must always be indicated on the label.
Acronym used for medicinal preparations produced in bulk, it means via industrial production.
Indication is a circumstance, or a set of circumstances signalling the initiation of a certain treatment or diagnostic procedure, for example, drug administration; it is the opposite to contraindication.
Intera*ction means the mutual effect of drugs and of other substances coming into the organism (food, alcohol, nicotine, etc.); certain drugs or substances mutually increase their effects, while others on the contrary reduce them; the attending physician should always be informed about all drugs (including OTC drugs) which are being or will be administered to the patient; drugs with frequent intera*ctions include, for example, certain anti-coagulants, antacids, anti-epileptics, laxatives and others.
Acronym used for individually produced drugs; it means the drugs prepared in the pharmacy usually according to a breakdown specified by the physician on the pre**ion.
An OTC drug is available without a medical pre**ion, intended for self-healing; OTC stands for “Over the Counter”. The OTC status of a drug is obtained by the producer for a certain drug form and for a certain indication, should his application for drug registration be positively assessed by the state authorities (SÚKL in the Czech Republic).
Overdosing is a condition resulting from the administration of an excessive drug dose; the leaflet, which must be included with each drug, covers symptoms of overdosing and how to solve the potential consequences.
Medical pre**ion is an instruction from the physician for the pharmacist to issue, or prepare if necessary, a certain drug for a specific patient; the pre**ion form has several parts including formal matters dealing with the patient and the physician prescribing the drug; the validity of the pre**ion is limited – usually to 7 days, while a pre**ion for antibiotics is only valid for 3 days and a pre**ion issued by an emergency medical service only 1 day.
Prevention means to prevent a disease onset.
A stabilizer is an additive ensuring the stability of a drug, i.e. the capacity of a drug to maintain certain qualitative features at specified limits for a certain period of time and under specified conditions.
State Institute of Drug Control, SÚKL
This institution is controlled by the Ministry of Health whose mission is to ensure that in the Czech Republic only safe, effective and high-level quality drugs are available. The Institute provides surveillance over the properties of drugs and medical devices used in human medicine.