Using the Medicines in this Book 473
Throughout this book, we have given the names and doses of
medicines that can be used to treat some common women’s
health problems. But to be able to buy and then use a medicine
safely you must also know:
• what the medicine is called where you live (see below).
• in what forms the medicine comes (see page 474).
• how to take the medicine correctly (see page 474).
• whether the medicine is safe for you to take (see page 477).
• if the medicine causes side effects (see page 478).
• what happens if you take too much (or not enough) of the
medicine (see page 479).
• what to do if you cannot find (or afford) the medicine,
or if you should take another medicine because you are
pregnant or breastfeeding or have an allergy (see page 480).
This information for each medicine is presented at the end
of this chapter in the “Green Pages” (see page 485). The rest of
this chapter explains more about how to buy and safely use all
of the medicines mentioned in this book.
Generic names and brand names
Most medicines have 2 names—a generic or scientific name,
and a brand name. The generic name is the same everywhere
in the world. The brand name is given by the company that
makes the medicine. When several companies make the same
medicine, it will have several brand names but only one generic
name. As long as the medicine has the same generic name,
it is the same medicine.
In this book, we use the generic or scientific name for
medicines. For a few medicines, such as those used in family
planning, we also use the most widely available brand name. If
you cannot find the first medicine we recommend, try to
buy one of the others listed in the same treatment box.
For example: Your health worker has told you
to take Flagyl. But when you go to the pharmacy,
they do not have any. Ask the
pharmacist or health worker
brand what the generic name is for
name Flagyl (metronidazole) and ask for
another brand that has the same
generic name. The generic name is usually
printed on the label, box, or package. If
you ask for the medicine by its generic
name, you can often buy it more cheaply.
Read the label
carefully before you
take any medicine.
We don’t sell that
brand. This one is just
It is OK to substitute
one medicine for
another if the generic
names are the same.
Always take the
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012