Using the Medicines in this Book 477
Who should not take a certain medicine
Some medicines can be dangerous for certain people, or
during certain times of their lives. You should be especially
• you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Many of the medicines
that you take during pregnancy and breastfeeding will be
passed on to your baby. Before you take any medicine,
find out if it will harm your baby. Medicines in
this book that are harmful during pregnancy and
breastfeeding are marked with a warning.
= r ead carefully
if you are
But if you are sick, it is important that you get
treated. Do take medicines to treat serious illnesses
and anemia. It is possible to find medicines that will not
harm your baby.
• you have long-term liver or kidney disease. Your liver
and kidneys clear the medicine from your body. If they are
not working well, the medicine may build up and become
= read carefully
if you are
= do not take
= do not take if
• you have a stomach ulcer or a stomach that upsets easily
(heartburn). Medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen can
cause bleeding in the stomach and a painful or burning
feeling. If you must take a medicine that bothers your
stomach, take it with food.
• you are allergic to the medicine. If you have ever had any
of these signs after taking a medicine, you are probably
allergic to that medicine:
➤ In the Green
that may be harmful
will be marked with
the above signs.
- a skin rash (raised, red and itchy, usually with swelling)
- trouble breathing or swallowing
Being allergic means your body fights against the
medicine rather than using it to fight disease. Allergic
reactions happen more often with antibiotics from the
penicillin and sulfa families. Avoid taking other medicines
from the same ‘family’ of medicines as the one you are
allergic to. You may also be allergic to them. See page 480
for more information about antibiotics and their families.
IMPORTANT If you have an allergic reaction to a medicine,
never take the medicine again. The next time it may cause a
more serious reaction or even death.
reactions and allergic
IMPORTANT If you have taken a medicine and then get a
severe skin rash, swelling of the mouth or difficulty breathing
or swallowing, get medical help immediately.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012