Drug Therapy What Is It?

Drug therapy, also called pharmacotherapy, is a general term for using medication to treat disease. Drugs interact with receptors or enzymes in cells to promote healthy functioning and reduce or cure illness. Medications are heavily researched and tested before being prescribed to patients, but may have unanticipated effects when combined with certain foods, herbal remedies or other drugs.

The method of administration for drug therapy varies depending on the patient and the condition being treated. Medications may be taken orally in pill, capsule or liquid form, or may be injected into the tissues or muscles.

As a function of eradicating disease, many drugs carry side effects which can be minor or at times severe. In most cases, side effects are temporary and do not last beyond the course of drug treatment.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DRUG THERAPY?

Drug therapy has clear benefits. Medication can cure many conditions, such as certain infections and diseases, and can dramatically improve symptoms of a wide range of problems. Patients should speak with their physician or health care provider to determine whether medication is right for them.

WHAT CONDITIONS/DISORDERS DOES DRUG THERAPY TREAT?

Most conditions can be treated with medication. Even those that cannot be cured or improved with drug therapy may have symptoms that can be treated with medication. Examples of drug therapy include:

  • Antibiotics to cure a common ailment
  • Pain relief after surgery or an accident
  • Short- or long-term medication to fight addiction
  • Antidepressants to relieve symptoms of depression