330 The green pages
Forms of medicines
Medicines come in different forms, and in this book we use pictures to show how a
medicine should be given:
when we show
pills, capsules, or
inserts when we
show this picture.
or cream when
we show this
Usually, it is best to give medicines by mouth to avoid the risks of injections. But
in an emergency, injecting the medicine may be better because it will make it work
These pictures appear with the word WARNING! when pregnant
women or women who are breastfeeding need to take special care.
Kinds of medicine
There are several different kinds of medicine listed in this book. One group of
medicines, antibiotics, needs explanation as a group.
Antibiotics are used to fight infections caused by bacteria. Antibiotics do not cure
illnesses caused by viruses, such as colds, hepatitis, or HIV/AIDS. Antibiotics
that are similar to each other are said to come from the same family. Antibiotics
from the same family can often treat the same problems. So if you cannot get one
antibiotic, another one from the same family may work instead. If you are allergic
to one antibiotic, you will probably be allergic to other antibiotics in the same
family, so do not take any antibiotics from that family.
Here is a list of some antibiotics and their families:
Penicillins: amoxicillin, ampicillin, benzathine penicillin,
benzylpenicillin, dicloxacillin, procaine penicillin, and others
Macrolides: azithromycin, erythromycin, and others
Tetracyclines: doxycycline, tetracycline
Sulfas (sulfonamides): sulfamethoxazole (part of cotrimoxazole), and others
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007