How to take medicines safely 327
How to use the green pages
This section gives information about the modern medicines
mentioned in the book. If you want to use traditional medicines, ask
a traditional healer where you live to help you find remedies that
may work for your problem. Traditional medicines vary a lot from
one place to another, so a remedy used in one place may not be
available or may not work anywhere else.
How to take medicines safely
Use medicines only when they are needed
Many people believe that if they do not receive medicines
when they are sick, they will not get well. This is not true. Some
problems, like colds, are best cured by time and rest. Other
problems are best solved by eating enough good foods and
drinking clean water. Be suspicious of health workers who always want you to take
more and different medicines.
Take the full course of medicines
Even if you begin to feel better, continue to take the medicines for as long as
recommended. Sometimes, taking less than the full amount can allow the sickness
to return. It may even cause drug resistance, which means that the same drugs will
no longer work against the illness.
Do not take too much
Taking more than the recommended amount will not make you well faster, and it
will probably make you even more sick.
Know and watch for signs of problems
Some medicines can have harmful side effects or cause allergic reactions that can be
very dangerous (see page 329).
Learn as much as you can about a medicine
Ask a health worker or a pharmacist about the medicines you take or other
medicines you may need. You can also find information in the Green Pages in this
and other Hesperian books (such as Where Women Have No Doctor and Where There
Is No Doctor).
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007