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Section 3

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs

Abbreviations Used in this Section


Breast feeding


Infants and Children

Over 60
Over 60



Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 505

List of 107 Drugs with Short Profiles
Activated Charcoal Levothyraxine
Albendazole Lindane (Gamma Benzene Hexachloride)
Allopurinol Lithius Carbonate
Alluminium Hydroxide & Magnesium Trisicate Mannitol
Aminophylline Mefloquine
Amitriptyline Methylene Blue
Amphotericin Metoclopramide
Atenolol Morphine
Beclomethasone Neomycin
Benzanthine Benzyle Penicillin Niclosamide
Benzophenones Nifedipine
Benzyl Penicillin Nitrofurantoin (NFT)
Calcius Lactate Nitrous Oxide
Carbamazepine Norethisterone
Cephalexin Nystatin
Chloramphenicol Pethidine
Chlorpramazine Phenobarbitone
Cimetidine Phenoxymethyl Penicillin
Clofazimine Phenytoin
Clonidine Pilocarpine
Clotrimazole Piperazine Citrate
Cloxacillin Podophyllin
Coaltar Potassium Chloride
Cyclosporin Praziquantel
Dexamethasone Prednisolone
Diclofenac Sodium Primaquine
Diethyl Carbamazine Procain Benzyl Penicillin
Diloxanide Furoate Procainamide
Domperidone Pyrantel Pamoate
Doxycycline Pyrazinamide
Epinephrine Pyridoxine (Vit. B6)
Ergocalciferol (Vit. D2) Quinidine
Ergometrine Riboflavin (Vit. B2)
Ethinamide/Propionamide Rifampicin + INH + Pyrazinamide
Ethosuximide Silver Sulfadiazine
Flucytosine Silvernitrate
Furazolidone Sodium Bicarbonate
Gentamicin Sodium Chloride
Glucose Sodium Thiosulphate
Griseofulvin Sodium Chloride + Dextrose (Glucose)
Haloperidol Streptokinase (Enzyme)
Hydralazine Sulface
Hydrochlorthiazide Sulfadimidine
Hydrocortisone Tamoxifen
Imipramine Tetracaine
Indomethacin Thiamine
Iodine Trihexyl Phenidyl
Ipecacuanha Valproicacid
Iron Dextran Verapamil Hydrochloride
Isoniazid+Thiacetazone (INH) Vinblast
isosorbide Dinitrate Vincristine
Ketoconazole Warfarin (Mainly as Warfarin Sodium)
Levamisole Zinc Oxide
Levodopa + Carbidopa

506 A Lay Person's Guide

Activated Charcoal Albendazole
Use Brand Name
Antidote to treat overdose or poisoning by most ABZ , Albezole
drugs or chemicals
Adults and Children above 6 years:
20 gm in 100 ml of water. Repeat every 20 min. till Dosage
dose of 100 gm.
Adults: For hydatid cysts : 800 mg daily in divided
Children below 6 years: 10 gm in 50-100 ml of water. doses for 28 days followed by 14 tablet-free days (3
cycles). Along with surgery: 2 cycles before and 2
Can Can Contra-
cycles after surgery).
continue continue indicated
use of use of For enterobius, tapeworm and trichuris: 400 mg
medicine medicine
daily for 3 days for adults and children above two
Over 60
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
* Do not give before induction of vomitting by
* Do not take chocolate. Safety
* If unconscious do not force fluid intake.
Adverse Effects Adverse Effects
Mild constipation Skin rashes, diarrhoea, disturbed colour vision, slow
heart beat, loss of hair rarely reversible
Additional Information
* Dizziness
Patient Information
* Contraindicated in pregnancy
With dig oxin, poisonous mushrooms,
* Blood disorders
antide pressants (medicines used to treat
depression), additional dose of 10-20 gm in 100 ml Additional Information
water is to be given every 2 hrs.
During high dose therapy, careful monitoring of
liver is advised.
Interferes with oral contraceptives.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 507

Allopurinol Aluminium Hydroxide &
Brand Name Magnesium Trisilicate
Zyloric Use
Use Antacid, for relief of pain in patients suffering from
gastric or duodenal ulcer.
Adults: 1-6 tablets (4-6 times) daily in accordance
Adults: Mild gout - 200-300 mg daily. Severe gout:
with the patient’s needs (Magnesium trisilicate 250
400-600 mg daily. With anti-cancer agent, 600-800
mg + Aluminium hydroxide 120 mg)
mg daily (doses of more than 300 mg should be
divided in 2/3 doses) Tablets to be chewed and not swallowed
Children: Not recommended Precaution
Safety Avoid Increased
Precaution not risk of
established adverse
Safety Contra- Reduced Over 60 effects
not indicated dose to
be given Others
Contra- Contra- Reduced * Kidney damage due to aluminium
indicated indicated dose to
be given
Adverse Effects
Over 60

Loss of phosphates from body, kidney stones, etc.

Additional Information
* Acute attack of gout
* Impaired kidney function Drug Interactions
* Magnesium trisilicate reduces absorption of
Adverse Effects
iron/ tetracycline
Skin rashes, fever chills, kidney inflammation,
* Absorption of penicillamine reduced.
anemia, liver damage, drowsiness, red irritated eyes

Continue the drug and inform the doctor.

Drug Interactions
Allopurinol should not be given with thiazides (used
as diuretics, to get rid of water and salt in kidneys)
* It enhances the serum levels of aminophylline.
Patient Information
Take with food.
Take each dose with full glass of water. Drink atleast
10-12 glasses of fluid each day. AND NOT THE LIQUID
* Do not take much Vitamin C.
* Notify physician if skin rash occurs.

508 A Lay Person's Guide

Aminophylline Additional Information
Drug Interactions
Brand Name
* Effect of drug is decreased by cigarette and
Sedonal marijuana smoking, phenobarbitol and charcoal
Use boiled foods.

Asthma and severe respiratory problems combined * Effect of drug enhanced by cimetidine,
with bronchopneumonia erythromycin, influenza virus vaccine among
* Drug enhances effect of ephedrine.
Adults: By slow injection - (13 to 15 mg/kg/day
divided in 3 doses) * It decreases effect of phenytoin.
By Mouth - (100-300 mg) 3 - 4 times daily after food Patient Information
* If GI upset occurs, take with food.
Safety Contra- Increased
* Do not chew or crush enteric coated/ sustained
indicated risk of
release tablets.
* Take every 6 hrs (round the clock) or as directed
risk of
by the physician.
use of adverse
medicine Over 60 effects * Notify physician if adverse effects occur.
Others * Avoid drinking large amounts of caffeine
containing beverages such as tea, coffee, cocoa,
Use with caution in cases of severecardiac disease, cola drinks and chocolates, which enhance the
severe renal or hepatic (liver related) disease, acute adverse effects of the drug.
heart injury, heart failure, peptic ulcer.
Adverse Effects
Gastrointestinal irritation, nausea, vomiting,
gastrointestinal bleeding.
Continue the drug and inform your doctor
* Stimulation of CNS: anxiety, headache,
confusion, restlessness, vertigo and palpitations
(increased activity of heart).
Rational Therapy Tips
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Q. Which type of cough syrup should be
* Overdosage is especially dangerous in children.
prescribed to the children below the
age of one year, expectorant or
Ans. Usually no cough syrup should be given to
children below the age of one year. Water

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 509

Amitriptyline Amphotericin B
Use Brand Name
Antidepressant with sedative property (promotes Fungizone Intravenous
sleep and avoids day-time drowsiness).
Antifungal against fungal infections in or around
Adults: 25-300 mg daily (1-4 times) mouth.
Precaution Fungal infection of intestine. To treat fungal
infection affecting blood (systemic fungal
Safety Contra- Contra- infections).
not indicated indicated
Contra- Contra- Reduced Fo r i n f e c t i o n s i n / a r o u n d m o u t h : 1 0 m g a s
indicated indicated dose to
be given
lozenge/suspension 4 times daily for 10-15 days.
Over 60
Increase dose in severe infections
Heart problems, epilepsy, liver and kidney problems Systemic infections: Daily dosage ranges 0.25 mg/kg
glaucoma, trouble of prostate. upto 1 mg/kg by IV infusion.

Adverse Effects For intestinal infections: 100-200 mg every 6 hrs.

Fast heart beat, heart block, hallucinations, decrease Precaution

in memory, delusions, anxiety, nervousness, Safety
dizziness, fatigue, headache, tremors, seizures, established

skin rashes, urinary retention, bone marrow

depression, diarrhoea, increased perspiration, Others
flushing, chills. Hypersensitivity to the drug.
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. Should not be given with terfenadine.
Additional Information Adverse Effects
Drug Interactions Fever, headache, anorexia (reduced appetite with
* Phenothiazines, cimetidine, procainamide, aversion to food), malaise, muscle and joint pain.
quinidine may increase the toxic effects of the Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Abnormal kidney function like nephrocalci-nosis
* Amitriptyline reverses the antihypertensive (difused collection of calcium and related salts in
effect of clonidine, guanethidine. kidney), and renal tubular acidosis (inability to
Patient Information pass high acid content urine, etc.).
* Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
sunlamps. GI tract problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea,
* Do not discontinue therapy without consent of cramping.

510 A Lay Person's Guide

Anemia and weight loss, irregular heart beat, blood Atenolol
clot defects, convulsions and other neurologic
symptoms, hearing loss, blurred vision, acute liver Brand Name
failure, rashes. Altol
Additional Information Use
Drug Interactions * Antihypertensive to treat variation in rhythm of
Corticosteroids and antineoplastics (medicines heart beat
used to treat cancer) should not be given with the * to treat obstructive cardiomyopathy
drug. It endows more power to digitalis. * to treat angina
* to prevent complication after myocardial
Adults: By mouth
For hypertension: 50-100 mg daily
For angina: 100 mg daily
For arrhythmia: 50-100 mg daily
Avoid Contraindicated

Contraindicated Contraindicated

Rational Therapy Tips

Over 60

Q. Can we use oral drugs a few months Others

after the expiry date?
* Long term kidney problems
Ans. Legally no. There might be slight
reduction in the potency of the drug. * Poor circulation
* Lung disorders
Adverse Effects
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and dizziness.
Decreased rate of heart beat, increased risk of
congestive heart failure/heart block, decreased
blood pressure, cold hands and feet and
disturbances of CNS (depression hallucination,
sleep disturbances and visual disturbances), swelling
over feet.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 511

Never stop the drug therapy. Beclomethasone
Additional information Brand Name
Drug Interactions Aerocort inhaler, Beclate nasal, Cloben, Ecodax-G,
* Some drugs like reserpine may have an additive NC-Derm, Stecort-NM
effect when taken with this drug. Use
* Use caution in case combination is used. Given to asthmatic patients who do not respond to
* Nifedipine used together is usually well- bronchodilators alone.
* Increased effect of drug seen on simul-taneous
Adults: 2 puffs (3-4 times daily) for asthma. 1 spray in
administration of chlorpromazine, cimetidine,
oral c o n t r a c e p t ive s, f u r o s e m i d e a n d each nostril (2-4 times).
hydralazine. Children : reduce dose according to age and weight .
* Effect of drug decreased by antacids and thyroid Precaution
hormones. Can Can Contra-
continue continue indicated
use of use of
* Effect reversed by norepinephrine or dopamine. medicine medicine

* Antagonises action of theophyllines. Can Can Can

continue continue continue
use of use of use of
* Prolongs insulin action. medicine medicine Over 60 medicine

Patient Information Others

* Do not discontinue medication abruptly. * If TB or other respiratory infection has
* Notify physician if you experience difficulty in occurred.
breathing especially on exertion/lying down, * Any nasal ulcers or surgery.
night cough, swelling of extremities, or any of
the other adverse effects. Adverse Effects

* May produce drowsiness, dizziness, light- Irritation of nasal passages and fungal infection of
headedness, blurred vision. Hence caution while mouth and throat.
driving or similar job requiring alertness. Discontinue and call the doctor immediately.
* Diabetics - may mask signs of low blood sugar or Additional Information
other blood glucose levels.
Patient Information
* May be taken without regard to meals.
* Rinse mouth with water or mouth wash after each
use to help reduce dry mouth and hoarseness.
* Allow at least one minute between inhalations.

512 A Lay Person's Guide

Benzanthine Benzyl Penicillin Benzophenones
Use Use
Antibiotic to treat infections like rheumatic Sunscreen agents.
fever, syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease) and Dosage
pharyngitis (inflammation of the joint opening of
wind pipe and gullet). 0.2% to 7% in oils, creams, aerosol sprays

Dosage Additional Information

Adults: Rheumatic fever: 0.72 gm every 4 weeks or Hypersensitivity reactions to benzyl salicylate has
12-24 lakh units every 3 weeks IM. been reported. Skin reactions seen for sensitive
Syphilis: initial stage 1.44 gm as single dose,
later 4.2 gm twice at 7 day intervals.
Pharyngitis: 0.72 gm as single dose, 1.44 gm daily.
Children: Syphilis: upto 2 yrs: 0.03 gm/kg
(1 dose). 2-12 yrs: Adult dose.
P h a r y n g i t i s : u p t o 2 7 . 3 k g b o d y we i g h t :
0.18 gm - 0.36 gm
Body weight more than 27.3 kg: 0.54 gm
(1 dose). Rational Therapy Tips
Precaution Q. What is the role of antibiotic skin
Contraindicated Contraindicated
Ans. Very little. Most skin infections in
childen would need oral antibiotics.
Further there is a risk of sensitisation
Others with ointments.
* Allergy to penicillin and cephalosporins
* Kidney and heart problems
* It should be administered by IM route only and
no other route.
* Administer slowly after sensitivity testing.
Adverse Effects
On high doses - lethargy, confusion, convulsions,
liver problems, allergic reactions like skin rashes,
sudden severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis).
Discontinue and call the doctor immediately.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 513

Benzyl Pencillin Calcium Lactate
Use Brand Name
Antibiotic to treat a variety of infections, wound Calcinol, Leclyte, Regolyte
infections, boils, diphtheria, inflammation of
tonsils, pneumonia, scarlet fever, rheumatoid
(resembling rheumatism) fever, and in case of other Calcium supplement for growing children, pregnant
inflammations. women and lactating women, in patients with post
menopausal osteoporosis, in patients with vitamin
Dosage deficiency, rickets and osteomalcia.
Adults: IV injections (600 mg), 4-6 times daily. Dosage
Children: Upto 12 years 25-30 mg/kg daily. I. Acute hypocalcemia (low calcium levels)
Neonates: 30 mg/kg daily Adults: max 2 gm daily by IM or IV injection.
Children: by slow IV (100-125 mg/kg) body w e i g h t
max 4 times daily.
Contraindicated Contraindicated II. Nutritional Supplement: (300 mg-1.5 gm) daily by
Adverse Effects
Renal calculi (solid collections in kidney)
* Allergy to penicillin and cephalosporins
Adverse Effects
* Kidney and heart problems. To be given after
sensitivity testing. Rarely - Gastrointestinal disturbances

Additional information Increased calcium levels in blood resulting in loss of

appetite, nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal
On high doses - lethargy, confusion, convulsions, pain, dryness of mouth, thirst and increased urination.
liver problems, allergic reactions like skin rashes,
Additional Information
anaphylaxis (sudden severe allergic reactions).
Drug Interactions
Discontinue the drug and call the doctor
immediately. * Some components of diet, e.g., oxalic acid
(spinach), phytic acid (bran and whole cereals) and
phosphorous (milk and other dairy products)
interfere with calcium absorption.
* Corticosteroids interfere with calcium absorption.
* Oral calcium compounds reduce effective levels of
oral tetracyclines.
* Calcium antagonises the effect of verampil.
Rational Therapy Tips Patient Information
Q. What is the role of antibiotic ear drops * Notify physician if any of the adverse effects
in otitis media? persist or become serious.
Ans. None. You need systemic antibiotics.

514 A Lay Person's Guide

Carbamazepine Additional Information

Brand Name Drug Interactions

Carbatol, Mazetol, Tegretol * Erythromycin increases the toxicity of the drug.

Use * Phenobarbitone, phenytoin decrease levels of

the drug.
* Isoniazid, cimetidine, propoxyphene increase
Dosage drug toxicity.
Adults: 100 mg twice daily. Increase to Patient Information
2 gm daily in divided doses slowly and as required.
* Take with food.
Elderly: 50 mg twice daily as above.
* Notify physician if there is bleeding, jaundice,
Children: 10-20 mg/kg swelling of hands or feet, ulcers in mouth, fever
Precaution and chills.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated

Contra- Contra- Contra-

indicated indicated indicated

Over 60

* Liver problems
* Blood disorders
* Glaucoma Rational Therapy Tips
* Heart problems Q. What is the best treatment for anemia
* Kidney problems in children?
Ans. Most of the time it is iron deficiency
* Bone marrow depression anemia. Iron syrup or drops should be
* Psychotic problems used in the dose given below:
Adverse Effects Elemental Iron: 6 mg/kg/day. Most Iron
syrups in the market, with notable
Dizziness, drowsiness, confusion, headache, exceptions, contain around 30 mg of
fatigue, blurred vision, anemia, abnormal liver elemental iron per 5 ml.
function, acuteurinar y retention paralysis,
pneumonia rashes, abdominal pain dryness of
mouth, hypertension, congestive heart failure,
muscle and joint pain, fever and chills.
Continue the drug and inform doctor.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 515

Cephalexin Additional Information
Brand Name Drug Interactions
Alcephin, Alexin, Carbicol, Cefamax, Nufex, * Bacteriostatic (those stopping growth or
Phexis multiplication of bacteria) agents interfere with
the bactericidal (those that kill bacteria) action of
the drug.
Respiratory and urinary tract infections, bone and
joint infections * Probencid prolongs action of the drug.

Dosage * Concomitant use of nephrotoxic (toxic to

kidneys) agents (like vancomycin, polymyxin B
Adults: 250-500 mg every 6 hrs. and aminoglycoside group of antibiotics) with this
Children: 25 mg/kg daily in divided doses, drug increases the probability of kidney
Less than 1 year : 125 mg every 12 hours
1-5 years: 125 mg every 8 hours Patient Information

Precaution * Complete full course of therapy.

Contra- Contra- Reduced

* May cause GI upset - take with food/milk.
indicated indicated dose to be
given * Notify physician if you have experienced allergic
reaction to cephalosporin penicillins, or their
Others. related group of drugs.

Kidney problems. * Notify physician if diarrhoea - especially if severe

with mucus, blood/pus.
Allergic reaction to pencillin or cephalosporin,
blood disorders. * May give a false positive test for glucose in some
Adverse Effects
* Drug excreted through breast milk.
Most Common :
GI disturbances and allergic reaction to the drug
(especially in people with history of allergy to the
drug, asthma and hay fever).
* Allergic reactions may range from mild to life
* Decrease in number of blood cells (platelets and Rational Therapy Tips
leucocytes). Q. Is it rational to use a combination of
* May affect liver and kidneys. antibiotics in the management of an
* CNS also may be affected.
Ans. Seldom. Exceptions are meningitis,
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. septicemia and tuberculosis.
* Bleeding due to hypothrobinemia (a blood
disorder leading to bleeding tendency).

516 A Lay Person's Guide

Chloramphenicol Additional Information

Brand Name Drug Interactions

Chlorocort, Chloromycetin, Dexosyt C * Prolongs effects of drugs like dicumarrol,

phenytoin, phenobarbitol, tolbutamide,
Use chlorpropamide.
Antibiotic for typhoid ferver. * Paracetamol prolongs effect of the drug.
Dosage * Concurrent penicillin and chloramphenicol
Adults: 500 mg by mouth 4 times daily. may decrease the penicillin effect and prolong
the effect of chloramphenicol.
Childrem: more than 2 weeks old : 25 - 50 mg per kg
body weight by mouth in 4 divided doses (max. 100 * Response to iron salts and Vit.B2 may be
mg/kg body weight). decreased when given with this drug.

Precaution Patient Information

Safety Contra- Avoid * Preferably taken on an empty stomach one
not indicated
established hour before or two hours after meals.

Can Can Reduced

* Take with food if GI upset occurs
continue continue dose to be
use of use of given * Take every six hours round the clock.
medicine medicine Over 60

Others * Notify physician if fever, sore throat, tiredness

or unusual bleeding or bruising occurs.
* Blood disorder.
* Liver or kidney problems.
Adverse Effects
Most serious:
Bone marrow depression. Hence decrease in all
populations of blood cells resulting in anemia and
compromised immune response.
This can be prevented by examination of blood
GI Disturbances - rare. Sometimes inflammation of
mouth, tongue or intestine. Rational Therapy Tips
CNS Related problems - headache, mild depression, Q. Should one use preparations which
confusion/delirium and damage to optic and other have a combination of antibiotics
nerves may occur on long time use. with other drugs, e.g., steroids,
In some cases, allergic reaction to the drug may be
Ans. Never.
Can give rise to toxic reactions in premature infants -
may prove to be fatal.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 517

Chlorpromazine Notify doctor immediately if any of above persists or serious.

Brand Name Additional Information

Neoclam forte, Trinicalm forte Drug Interactions

Use * Caution in patients using barbiturates, narcotics,

anaesthetics, or alcohol and anticholinergic
Tranquilizer and sedative to treat acute psychosis, drugs.
hallucinations, schizophrenia.
* Absorption is reduced if antidiarrhoeal mixtures
It reduces the phase of manic drepression, to and antacids are simultaneously administered.
control anxiety and tension and also extreme nausea.
* Epinephrine should not be used.
* Simultaneous administration of phenytoin will
Adults: 50-100 mg/day divided into 3 doses. lead to phenytoin toxicity character-ised in part
Children: 1.5 mg/kg/day divided into 3 doses by liver damage.

Precaution * May aggravate neuromuscular respiratory

depression in conjunction with poly-lypeptide
Avoid Contra- Reduced
indicated dose to be antibiotics like capreomycin, polymixin B,
Contra- Contra- Reduced * It should not be used with metoclopramide and
indicated indicated dose to be
given domperidone.
Over 60

Others Patient Information

Contraindications: Kidney or liver problems, * May cause drowsimess. Avoid during day tasks
epilepsy, heart problems, glaucoma, Parkinson’s requiring alertness.
disease. * Avoid alcohol and other depressants.
Adverse Effects * Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
* Sudden death. * Avoid changing posture frequently.
* Liver damage resulting in jaundice. * Caution while climbing stairs.
* Blood disorders.
* Caution in case of hot weather.
* Alteration in blood pressure, increased heart
beat, cardiac arrest, irregularities in rhythm of * Avoid phenobarbitone.
heart beats
* Exposure to sunlight may lead to skin reactions
* Allergic reactions as skin rashes.
* Hormonal disorders.
Overdosage : Fatal or leading to coma. In general, CNS

518 A Lay Person's Guide

Cimetidine * Cigarette smoking reverses the inhibition of
nocturnal gastric secretion produced by this
Use drug.
To treat gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers or * Concomitant administration with carba-
inflammation of oesophagus. mazepine increases the toxic effects of
Dosage carbamazepine.

Adults: 400 mg (2-4 times daily) by mouth. * Decreases effective levels of digoxin in blood.

Children: 20-30 mg/kg daily in divided doses. Patient Information

Precaution * Take with meals.

Safety Contra- Reduced
not indicated dose to be
established given

Contra- Contra- Reduced

indicated indicated dose to be
Over 60

Liver or kidney problems.
Adverse Effects
* Gynaecomastia (excessive development of male
mammary glands, sometimes secreting milk).
* Irregular heart beats.
* Fever. Headache. Rational Therapy Tips
* Decrease in white blood cells. Q. Is there any need for routine use
of antiinflammatory drugs while
* Liver toxicity. treating acute infections, e.g., tonsilitis
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. and pharyngitis?
Ans. No, they are of no added advantage.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* Prolongs action of warfarin type
a n t i c o a g u l a n t s, p h e n y t o i n , p r o p a n o l o l ,
lidocaine, theophylline and benzodiazepine
derivatives (e.g. diazepam).
* Antacids if needed should preferably be taken at
spaced intervals from time of taking this drug.
* Interferes with action of ketoconazole.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 519

Clofazimine Clonidine
Brand Name Brand Name
Clofazine, Hansepran Arkamin, Catapres, Clothalton
Use Use
Antileprosy (with dapsone and rifampicin). Also Antihypertensive to treat migraine and menstrual
used in healing chronic skin ulcers due to cramps (dysmenorrhoea).
M.ulcerans. Dosage
Dosage Adults: 0.2-0.8 mg daily taken in 2 divided doses not
Adults: 0.8-1.6 mg/kg daily usually 100 mg daily + greater than 2.4 mg daily.
300 mg once a month Precaution
Children: 1 mg/kg daily Can Contra- Contra-
continue indicated indicated
If body weight less than 25 kg: give 2 daily doses use of
together on alternate days.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
For erythemarodosum Leprosy: 200 to 300 mg daily for indicated indicated indicated

no longer than 3 months Over 60

Precaution Others
risk of
* Stop drug slowly.
use of adverse
medicine effects * Low blood pressure
Others Adverse Effects
Patients with problems of stomach and intestine, Dry mouth, drowsiness, sedation, consti-pation,
liver problems. headache and fatigue abnormalities in liver
Early pregnancy. function, weight gain, congestive heart failure,
rashes, burning of eyes and dryness of nasal
Adverse Effects mucosa.
Bowel obstruction, water retention, stomach upset Should not be withdrawn.
and pain.
Additional Information
Reversible brown to pink discoloration of skin and
Drug Interactions
discoloration of hair, sweat, tears, faeces and urine.
Clonidine may enhance the CNS depressant effects
Additional Information
of alcohol, barbiturates (like phenobarbitone) and
* Rush to the doctor in case of loss of vision, sedatives.
bloody black stools, yellow eyes and vomiting.
Patient Information
* If discoloration of skin occurs, one should not
* Abrupt withdrawal may cause rapid rise in BP.
get frightened.
* Avoid cough cold or allergy medications.
Drug Interactions
* If dizziness occurs, avoid sudden changes in
Not known.

520 A Lay Person's Guide

Clotrimazole Cloxacillin
Brand Name Brand Name
Calcrem Bioclox, Klox
Use Use

Antifungal Antibiotic to treat infections caused by organisms

which are resistant to treatment by benzyl pencillin
Dosage (eg.bronchitis, infections of bone, skin, wounds).
Adults: Vaginal Cream: 1-2 times daily. Dosage
Vaginal Pessaries: Once daily at bedtime Adults: By mouth 500 mg 6 hourly, at least 30
(100-500 mg/dose). minutes before food.
Skin Cream: 2-3 times solution spray as directed. IM injection - 500 mg every 4-6 hours.
Precaution IV injection - 0.5-1.0gm every 4-6 hours.
Children: 1/4 - 1/2 adult dose.
No known problems
Adverse Effects
Contra- Contra-
Burning and irritation on the skin surface at the site indicated indicated

of application of cream, rash.

Continue the drug and inform your doctor. Others
Additional Information * Allergy to penicillin and cephalosporins.
Patient Information * Kidney and heart problems.
* To achieve maximum effect of the medication Adverse Effects
allow pessary to dissolve slowly in the mouth of On high doses - lethargy, confusion, convulsions,
the vagina. liver problems, allergic reactions like skin rashes.
Drug Interactions Additional Information
Not known Drug Interactions
* Aminoglycosides (gentamycin, neomycin,
streptomycin, etc.) should not be given.
Patient Information
* Complete full course of therapy.
* Take on empty stomach 1 hr before or 2 hrs after
* Take each dose with full glass of water (no
carbonated drinks).
* Take at even intervals.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 521

Coal tar Cyclosporin
Brand Name Use
Dexobin Skin+ Powerful immunosuppresant in the prevention of
Use transplant rejection.

Antiseptic, antiparasitic, antifungal, antibacterial, Atopic dermatitis (unusual inflammation of skin),

keratolytic (looseners of dead cells on skin surface). psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Dosage Dosage

Adults: Use 20% solution (or dilute with three parts of Organ Transplantation: Used alone (10-15 mg/kg) as 1
water) on the affected areas of the skin, one to three dose 4-12 hrs. before trans-plantation followed by
times a day. 10-15 mg/kg daily for 1-2 weeks and then reduced to
2-6 mg/kg.
For use on scalp: Dilute 20% 10 times with water.
Bone Marrow Transplantation: 3-5 mg/kg by IV
For bath: Add 100 ml of 20% solution to the bath and
soak in it for 5 minutes. infusion over 2-hrs from day before transplantation
to 2 weeks post operatively, then 12.5 mg/kg by
Children: Dose not established. mouth for 3-6 months.
Precaution Precaution
Safety Contra- Contra-
not indicated indicated
Safety Safety
not not
established established
Adverse Effects
* Open wounds, inflammed skin, infected skin.
Liver dysfunction, fatigue, gastro-intestinal
* Patients intolerant to tars may be intolerant to coal disturbances, burning sensation in hands and feet,
tars also.
headache, rash, anemia, weight increase,
Adverse Effects convulsions, muscle cramps, inflammation of
Induction of acne type skin eruptions and sensitivity pancreas, kidney damage, mild tremor, abnormal
to sun. growth of gum.
Discontinue and call the doctor immediately.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* Amphotericin B, erythromycin or ketoconazole
should not be coadmin-istered since it increases
cyclosporin toxicity.
* Phenobarbitol, phenytoin, rifampicin and
trimethoprim sulphamethaxole should not be

522 A Lay Person's Guide

Dexamethasone Reduces action of antidiabetic and anti-hyptensive
Brand Name
Patient Information
Decdan, Idizoine, Millicortenol, Wymesone
* Take with meals or snacks in morning prior to 9 am.
Use Take single daily or alternate day doses.Take at
Used to treat skin disorders, asthma, joint pain and evenly spaced intervals.
stiffness. * Notify physician if signs of unusual weight gain,
Dosage blood vomiting, puffing of the face, menstrual
irregularities, fever cold or infection.
Adults: 0.5-20 mg/daily in divided doses orally.
* Avoid abrupt withdrawal of therapy.
Children: 0.5-2 mg daily in divided doses upto
maximum of 15 mg/day.
Safety Contra- Reduced
not indicated dose to be
established given

Contra- Contra- Contra-

indicated indicated indicated

Over 60

Peptic ulcer, glaucoma, TB, herpes infection, mental
Rational Therapy Tips
Not to be stopped suddenly if used for a Q. For calculating dose per kg for a
prolonged duration. malnourished child should the actual
Adverse Effects weight be considered or is the
expected weight required?
Abdominal stretching, nausea, vomiting, weight
gain, peptic ulcer, impaired wound-healing, skin Ans. Actual weight.
rashes, thin fragile skin, convulsions, insomnia,
hiccups, menstr ual irregularities, increased
sweating, cataracts, glaucoma, irregular heart
beat, cardiac arrest, muscle weakness and loss of
muscle mass.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
Phenytoin, phenobarbitone, rifampcin and
ephedrine increase drug clearance.
Aspirin, isoniazid should not be given as also

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 523

Diclofenac Sodium Diethyl Carbamazine
Brand Name Brand Name
Catagesic, Dic-SR, Diclofam, Diclomax, Diclomol, Banocide, Hetrazan
Diclonac, Dicloran, Dolfex, Fenacon, Fenaplus,
Fensaide, Frenacplus, Frenac-MR
For prevention and treatment against filarial
infestation and cough and asthma associated with
Pain and inflammation in joints (rheumatoid), filarial infection.
acute gout, analgesic, for fever.
1 mg/kg daily in 3 divided doses on 1st day then
Adults: By mouth: 75-150 mg daily in 2-3 divided increase gradually to 6 mg/kg over 2-3 days after
doses (preferably after food). meals. Treat for 21 days (total dose of 72-126
By deep IV injection into gluteal muscle: 75 mg once
daily for 2 days. Precaution
Can Can
By rectum: 75-150 mg daily in divided doses. continue continue
use of use of
medicine medicine
Childr en (1-12 yrs): By mouth or rectum:
1-3 mg/kg daily in divided doses. Can
use of
Precaution medicine Over 60

Avoid Can
continue Others
use of
* Antimalarial therapy.
Adverse Effects
* Impaired kidney functions.
Pain may occur at the injection site, hemoglobin
Adverse Effects
biosynthesis affected, redness of skin, itching,
oedema, jaundice, nausea, vomiting. Typical Mazotti reactions: skin rash, fever joint
pain, aches, headache, eye and vision problems and
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
decrease in BP.
* Risks of GI side-effects.
Continue to use the drug and inform the doctor.
* Unsafe in acute porphyria (a rare inherited, blood
Additional Information
Patient Information
Additional Information
* Take satisfactory food and fluid.
Drug Interactions
* Increase dose slowly.
* Reduces excretion of lithium and also that of
methotrexate (an anticancer drug).
* Typical NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammtory
drug) reactions.

524 A Lay Person's Guide

Diloxanide Furoate Domperidone
Brand Name Brand Name
Furamide, Ambibactin BD, Dyrade pre ps, Domstal
Entamizole, Flagyl-DF
Antiemetic, given to get relief from nausea and
Treatment of asymptomatic intestinal amoebiasis vomiting when on treatment with anticancer drugs
(condition where infection of intestine by amoebias
is indicated by passage of cysts in faeces, but no
clinical symptoms are seen). Adults: By mouth: 10-20 mg every 4-8 hrs. daily.
* Also used alongwith other drugs to treat By rectum: 30-60 mg daily every 4-8 hrs.
amoebic dysentery or amoebic infection of liver.
Children: By mouth: 100-400 ug/kg ever y
Dosage 8 hrs.
For Asymptomatic Amoebic Infections: By rectum : Varies with body weight 15 mg-0 mg (1-4
Adults: 500 mg every 8 hours for 10 days.
Children: 20 mg/kg daily in 3 divided doses.
Contra- Can Reduced
indicated continue dose to be
Precaution use of given
Contra- Contra- Reduced
indicated indicated dose to be
given Can Can Can
continue continue continue
use of use of use of
medicine medicine Over 60 medicine

Long term kidney problems, abnormal heart
Adverse Effects
In most cases well tolerated. Mild side-effects
Adverse Effects
include flatulence, vomiting and itching.
Rashes and other allergic reactions reported.
Do not discontinue the drug. Contact your doctor.
Prolactin effects like enlargement of breasts and
Additional Information
milk secretion.
Ineffective when administered alone in the
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
treatment of extra-intestinal amoebiasis.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* Antipsychotic drugs and analgesics (opioids)
should not be given.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 525

Doxycycline Food and dairy products also impair the
Brand Name
* Barbiturates (class of medicines that slow down the
Biodoxi, Duracyclin, Vivocycline, Lydox nervous system), carbamazepine and phenytoin
Use decrease the half-life of doxycycline.

Antibiotic tetracycline. * Aminophylline and doxycycline may increase the

incidence of gasto-intestinal effects.
Treatment of variety of infections including
inflammation of prostate, pelvic inflam-matory Patient Information
disease and acne. * Take with food not milk.
Dosage * Take each dose with full glass of water.
Adults: 50-200 mg daily. * Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Children: Not recommended.
For acne: 50 mg daily for 6-12 weeks or longer.
Capsules should be swallowed during meals with
plenty of fluid.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated

Contra- Reduced
indicated dose to be
Over 60

* Allergy to tetracycline.
* Liver, kidney problems.
* Surgery under general anaesthesia. Rational Therapy Tips
Pregnancy: take only in first four months. Q. What is the role of liver tonics in
Adverse Effects hepatitis?
Ans. Most liver tonics available in the market
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, black tongue, ulcers, have no proven value in case of jaundice in
rashes, fatty liver, anemia, discoloration of thyroid newborn or viral hepatitis in children.
gland, abnormal pigmentation of conjuctiva of eye. Only drug manufacturers tell that they are
Continue the drug and inform the doctor. useful but no authentic literature or
Additional Information authority agrees with them.
Drug Interactions
* Antacids, iron and alkali should not be given
since they impair the absorption of the drug.

526 A Lay Person's Guide

Epinephrine treatment of nausea, vomiting, and nervous,
mental and emotional conditions) reverse the
Use effect and should not be given.
Antiasthmatic, antiglaucoma, decongestant * Insulin should be increased for diabetic patients
Useful in sudden severe shocks. when this drug is given.
Dosage Patient Information
For aerosols (strength 0.2 to 0.3 mg/spray) - 1 Do not exceed the dosage.
inhalation, repeated in 1-2 min. if needed then wait
for 4 hrs. till the next. * Notify physician if dizziness or chest pain
Eye Drops - 1 drop every 12 hrs.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated

Contra- Contra- Contra-

indicated indicated indicated

Over 60

* Narrow angle glaucoma
* High BP
* Diabetes
* Overactive thyroid
Rational Therapy Tips
* Heart problems
Q. Is it rational to use steroids as a
* Never give intravenously
‘WONDER' drug during any type of
Adverse Effects ailment?
Cerebral haemor rhag e (serious bleeding), Ans. It is not. Steroids have very specific
hallucination, impairment of memory, panic, indications. They are dangerous in
suicidal tendencies. ordinary fevers or nonspecific ailments.
Palpitations, changes in blood pressure, irregular Two good examples of their rational use
heart beat, decreased urine formation and and are asthma and nephrotic syndrome. Two
painful urination. Heart burn, haemorrhage at site common examples of misuse are hepatitis
of injection. and high fever.
Respiratory difficulties.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* P h e n o t h i a z i n e s ( e. g. , c h l o r p r o m a z i n e ,
prochlorperazine, etc. — a class of drugs used in

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 527

Diarrhoea is a
nutritional disease

Courtesy: Indian Academy of Pediatrics

treat with normal food, rice kanjee

give water + salt + sugar solution


528 A Lay Person's Guide

Ergocalciferol (Vit D 2) * Phenytoin and barbiturates may increase
degradation of Vit D resulting in decreased
Use calcium levels and hence some disorders like
Preventing rickets or during rickets necessary for the osteomalacia (softening of bones)
absorption of calcium and phosphate. and rickets.

Dosage Patient Information

Adults: 10 micrograms (400 units) is given by * Very important to comply with dosage
intramuscular injection or gelatin capules instructions, diet and calcium supplemen-tation.
containing 25,000 to 50,000 units orally. * Notify physician if any of adverse effects persist
for long or become serious.
Can Can Can
* Avoid use of magnesium containing antacids/
continue continue continue laxatives while taking this drug.
use of use of use of
medicine medicine medicine

Monitoring of plasma calcium in high dosages, and
in kidney disorders, is necessary.
Adverse Effects
Weakness, headache, sleep disturbances, nausea,
vomiting, dry mouth, constipation, muscle pain,
bone pain and metallic taste.
Later, excessive urination, excessive thirst, loss of Rational Therapy Tips
appetite, weight loss, conjunctivitis, inflammation
Q. How safe is aspirin in childhood
of pancreas, inability to face light, excessive nasal
discharge, itching, fever, decreased vigor, increased
blood pressure, irregular heart beats. Ans. It is best avoided. It has possible
etiologic links with Rye's Syndrome
Additional Information (coma + liver damage), a serious
Drug Interactions disease. Its use for treatment of
fever in children below 12 years is not
* Use of magnesium containing antacid may cause recommended, specially in cases of
increased magnesium levels in blood. chickenpox and influenza.
* Cholestyramine interferes with absorption of
Vit D
* If patient is treated simultaneously with Vit D
and thiazide diuretics (like fr usemide,
hydrochlothiazide), elevated calcium levels in
blood may result.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 529

Ergometrine Ethionamide/Propionamide
Use Brand Name
For the active management of the third stage of Myobid-250
labour and in treatment of bleeding during labour.
Antileprosy used only when therapy with primary
Adults: 0.5 mg IV agents are ineffective.
Precaution Dosage
Adults: 250 mg twice daily. Increase by 125 mg/day
every 5 days until a dose of 15-20 mg/kg is reached
Children : 5-7.5 mg/kg daily.
Adverse Effects
* Contraindicated in pregnancy and before 3rd Contra- Contra-
stage of labour. indicated indicated

* To be avoided in breech presentation (delivery of

child with feet or buttocks first).
Adverse Effects
* Rule out multiple pregnancies before its use.
Liver problems
Additional Information
Additional Information
* Abdominal pain
Liver dysfunction, stomach upset, metallic taste,
* Sensation of voice in ears acne, allergic reaction, hair fall, convulsions, vision
problems, dizziness, headache, fall in BP, arthritis
* Slow heart beat
Continue to use the drug and inform the doctor.
* Difficulty in breathing
* Chest pain
* Vertigo
* Hypertension
* Gangrene
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

530 A Lay Person's Guide

Ethosuximide Flucytosine
Use Use
Anticonvulsant (to treat convulsions during Antifungal against severe fungal infection of blood
epileptic fits). and urinary tract.
Dosage Dosage
Adults : 500 mg initially and gradually increase as Adults:100-150 mg/kg/day in 4 divided doses by
required upto 2 gm daily. mouth or as IV infusion.
Children : 10 mg/kg initially and increase as required Children: 12-16 mg/kg daily by mouth or IV infusion.
upto 30 mg/kg Precaution
Precaution Safety not Safety not Contra-
Safety Contra- Reduced established established indicated
not indicated dose to be
established given

Contra- Contra- Reduced Others

indicated indicated dose to be
Over 60 Liver and kidney problems.
Others Blood disorders.
Liver and kidney problems Adverse Effects
Adverse Effects Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, anemia,
hallucinations, headache, vertigo, sedation.
GI symptoms including n a u s e a , v o m i t i n g ,
diarrhoea, weight loss, abdominal pain, con- Liver dysfunction.
stipation, anemia, confusion, depression, rashes, Additional Information
urinary frequency, kidney damage, muscular
weakness, edema, swelling of the tongue, vaginal Patient Information
bleeding, gum enlargement, agitation. * May cause gastro intestinal upset.
Additional Information * Nausea and vomiting may be reduced or avoided
by taking capsules a few at a time over a 15 minute
Patient Information
* If gastro intestinal upset occurs, take with food
or milk.
* Do not discontinue medicine abruptly.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 531

Furazolidone Gentamicin
Brand Name Brand Name
Alfumet+, Dependal-M, Furoxone, Kaltin-MF, Biogaracin, Garamycin, Genticyn, Lyramycin
Lomofen, Metrogyl-F
* To treat infections of blood by organisms or
Antibacterial and antiprotozoal. their toxins
Treatment of diarrhoea and gastroenteritis of * To treat meningitis and other infections of CNS
bacterial origin.
* Against inflammations of kidney and prostate
Used at site of injection (with nifroxime) to treat gland.
vaginal infections.
* Topical application may be used against eye/ear
Dosage infections.
Adults:100 mg (4 times daily) for 2-5 days. Dosage
Infant Children: 2 - 1 2 M o n t h s : 1 2 . 5 m g . By intramuscular-slow injection/IV infusion.
1-4 Years: 25 mg. 5 Years & above: 50 mg 4 times
daily. Adults: 2-5 mg/kg/day (in divided doses) every 8
Contra- Contra- Children: 0-2 weeks old: 3 mg/kg every 12 hours, 2
indicated indicated
weeks -12 yrs: 2 mg/kg every 8 hours.

Contra- Avoid
Eye ointment: 0.1 - 0.3% every 6-12 hours.
Eye/ear drops: 0.1 - 0.3% every 4-8 hours.
Others Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
G6PD Deficiency
Adverse Effects Can Can Increased
continue continue risk of
* Mild toxic symptoms (headache, nausea) use of
use of
medicine Over 60

* Measle-like rashes
* Changes in blood
* Must be stopped before you have general
* When used for vaginal infections may anaesthesia
occasionaly cause swelling of vulva or itching.
* Should not be given for longer than ten days
Additional Information usually.
Patient Information * Reduce dose if kidney problems.
* Foods with high tyramine content (cheese, beer,
red wine) and alcohol should be avoided during
and for short time after treatment.

532 A Lay Person's Guide

Adverse Effects Glucose
Abnormal liver and kidney functions, anemia, Brand Name
roaring in the ears, paralysis, dizziness, vertigo,
confusion, lethargy, respiratory distress, headache Beplex, Emlytepreps, Gesicaine heavy 5%
rashes, tremor, muscle twitching and weakness, Use
decreased appetite, weight loss, joint pain,
palpitations, burning at the injection site. To replace water deficit which may occur under
different conditions like coma, aging.
Additional Information
Amphotericin B, bacitracin, cisplastin increase the
adverse effects of the drug. Adults:1-3 ltrs. of 20-50 % solution daily by slow IV
Adverse Effects
* Fever, infection at site of injection, damage to
tissues/blood vessels, dehyd-ration, mental
confusion or unconsciousness may result if
problem with composition of
solution/administration technique.
* Very concentrated solutions may cause irritation.
Increased blood sugar levels may result if too
rapid administration.
* Increase in serum insulin levels
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
Rational Therapy Tips
* If patient receives cor tiosteroids or
Q. How do you justify the use of corticotropin, parenteral fluids should be
antibiotics? administered with caution.
Ans. Antibiotics are necessary only in bacterial
* Dextrose administration may cause Vit B
infections. Infection mostly presents as
complex deficiency.
fever though every fever may not be due to
infection. Only if you suspect bacterial * Blood and dextrose should not be admin-istered
infection then use an antibiotic. simlutaneously through the same infusion to
prevent clumping.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 533

Griseofulvin Additional Information

Brand Name Drug Interactions

Grisactin FP, Grisofil FP, Idifulvin, * It decreases the efficacy of warfarin, phenytoin
Walavin 250 and barbiturates (e.g., pheno-barbitone).

Use * Take entire course of therapy - effects are seen

after sometime.
Antifungal for treatment of variety of fungal
infections of skin, nails and hair * Sensitivity to sunlight may occur. Avoid
exposure to sunlight.
* Notify physician if fever/sore throat rashes
Adults: By mouth 10-15 mg/kg daily in 3 divided occur.
doses for 1-18 months depending on infection.
Children: By mouth - 10 mg/kg/day 6-12 hrs. for 6-
12 weeks.
Note: Dose may be doubled if necessary.
Safety Safety
not not
established established

Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated

* Porphyria (rare, inherited blood disease)
* Pregnancy
* Sensitivity to sunlight Rational Therapy Tips
* Pencillin sensitivity Q. If temperature is high inspite of
paracetamol, what should be done?
* Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (a chronic,
inflammatory disease affecting the skin and Ans. Tepid water sponge.
various internal organs)
Adverse Effects
Skin rashes, edema, oral thrush, nausea, vomiting,
diarrhoea, headache, fatigue, mental confusion,
photo allergy.
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

534 A Lay Person's Guide

Haloperidol Hydralazine
Brand Name Brand Name
Depidol, Halidol, Hexidol, Serenace, SereBanthine Corbetazine +
Use Use
Antipsychotic, to treat schizophrenia, mania, Antihypertensive preferred in pregnancy, although
agitation, excitation, dangerously impulsive safety is not established
Adults: 40-100 mg daily in 4 divided doses, maximum
Adults: Mental illness: 1.5-20 mg/day initially and 200 mg daily.
increased gradually if needed upto 200 mg Children: 0.75-7.5 mg/kg/daily every 6-8 hrs.
Children: (not recommended), Precaution
25-50 micrograms/kg daily to maximum Safety Contra- Contra-
10 mg not
indicated indicated

Adolescents: 30 mg
Contra- Contra- Reduced
Precaution indicated indicated dose to be
Safety Contra- Reduced Over 60
not indicated dose to be
established given
Contra- Contra- Reduced * Kidney or liver problems.
indicated indicated dose to be
Over 60 * Heart problems
Others * Old age.
For liver and kidney problems, epilepsy, lung Adverse Effects
disorder, Parkinson's disease Headache, nausea, vomiting, fast heart beat,
Adverse Effects numbness and tingling, rashes, fever, difficulty in
urination, fluid accumulation, loss of appetite.
Abnormal movements of face and limbs, lethargy, Redness of eyes, nasal stiffness.
weight gain, dizziness, rash.
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Additional Information
Additional Information
Patient Information
Patient Information
* Notify physician if impaired vision, jaundice,
tremors or muscle twitching occur. * Take with meals
* Do not discontinue this medication suddenly.
* Avoid cold, cough or allergy medication.
* If dizziness occurs, avoid sudden changes in

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 535

Hydrochlorthiazide Thiazide drugs decrease response to
Brand Name
Cholestyramine and colestipol decrease the
Adelphane, Esidrex, Arkamin H, Beta Biduret, absorption of drug.
Betanol D+, Ciplar H+, Dibeta+, Esidrex,
Invozide+ Patient Information

Use * Take with food or milk.

Diuretic, used to reduce fluid retention, treat kidney * Will increase urination early during the day, may
disorders, heart problems and high BP. increase blood sugar levels in diabetes so notify
the physician.
* Eat food rich in potassium.
Adults : 25-200 mg daily
Children : 2 mg/kg/day every 12 hours.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated

Contra- Increased
indicated risk of
Over 60 effects

Kidney diseases, liver diseases, gout, diabetes.
Adverse Effects
Rational Therapy Tips
Cramps, abdominal bloating, constipation,
jaundice, frequent urination, impotence, headache, Q. Which are the commonly used drugs
weakness, lethargy, fatigue, muscle cramps, in which dose should be calculated on
nervousness, agitation, anemia, chest pain, skin the basis of active base and not on the
rashes, blurred vision, chills, flushing. actual strength of the salt?
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. Ans.
1. Chloroquine for treatment of malaria.
Additional Information Most chloroquine tablets containing 250
Drug Interactions mg of phosphate salt (150 mg of base).
Most liquid preparations have 50 mg of
Barbiturates (like phenobarbitone) and narcotics chloroquine base per 5 ml.
(eg. opium, morphine, pethidine) aggravate adverse
effects and decreases the efficacy of thiazides (a 2. Theophyline preparations in use for
class of drugs used as diuretics, eg., frusemide, bronchial asthma. Different preparations
hydro-chlorthiazide) and so does indomethacin have different strengths of the base. Find
and other NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti- it out from the manufacturer.
inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen, aspirin,
diclofenac, phenylbutazone).

536 A Lay Person's Guide

Hydrocortisone Imipramine
Brand Name Brand Name
Wycort , Allocort, Furain-S Depsonil
Corticosteroid - used to make up for deficiencies of
the gluco-corticoid group of hormones. Antidepressant (for long-term use)
Topical application helps treatment of various skin Dosage
Adults: 75-200 mg daily (increased in exceptional
Dosage circumstances)
Adults: 100-200 mg varies according to condition. Children: Reduced dose according to age and
Children: 20-40 mg every 4-6 hr. IM or IV. weight.
Replacement therapy 20-25 mg/day oral. Precaution
Safety not Avoid Contra-
Precaution established indicated
Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated Reduced
dose to be
given Avoid Avoid Increased
risk of
Contra- Contra- Reduced effects
Over 60
indicated indicated dose to be
Over 60 Others
Heart problems, epileptic effects, glaucoma,
prostate trouble
Others Adverse Effects
Peptic ulcer, glaucoma, TB, herpes infection, mental Fast heart beat, palpitation, heart block, confusion,
illness disturbed concentration, halluci-nation, decrease in
Adverse Effects memory, delusions, anxiety, nervousness panic,
Indigestion, weight gain, acne are common adverse insomnia, skin rashes, bone marrow depression,
effects. Prolonged high dosage may cause diabetics, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, flushing chills,
glaucoma, fragile bones and thin skin. urinary retention, jaundice.
May retard growth in children. Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Otherwise same adverse effects and actions to be Additional Information
taken as dexamethasone.
Drug Information
Additional Information
Barbiturates, anticonvulsants, rifampicin reduce * Phenothiazines, cimetidine, quinidine,
effect of drug. Effect of antidiabetic and procainamide increase the toxicity of the drug.
antihypertensive drugs reduced by drug. * The drug antagonises the actions of clonidine,
Severe reactions possible with vaccines. guanethidine, methyldopa, metrizamide,
Same precautions otherwise as dexamethasone. disulfuran, et al.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 537

Patient Information Indomethacin
* Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight or Brand Name
Indicin, Indo Cap/SR
* Avoid alcohol and other depressant drugs.
* Notify physician if dry mouth, difficulty in Non steroidal anti-inflammatory, antiarthritis,
urination or excessive sedation occurs. antigout
Adults: For arthritis: 25-50 mg, 2-4 times daily,
increase by 25-50 mg daily at one week interval.
For gout: 100 mg daily and then 50 mg thrice daily till
What are hazardous drugs? Children : Not recommended.
Hazardous drugs are those with high Precaution
unfavourable side-effects. Since safer and Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
effective alternatives are usually available, they
should not be marketed at all. See Chapters 2,
3, 4 and 8 of Section 1 for more information. Contra- Contra- Reduced
indicated indicated dose to be
Over 60

* History of GI lesions.
* If headache persists
* Impaired kidney function.
* Presence of infection
* Eye complaints
* Hypertension
* Impaired liver function
* Low blood counts
* Parkinson's.
* Epileptic fits.
Adverse Effects
Source : VHAI

Pain in upper regions of abdomen, heart burn,

indigestion, bleeding from peptic ulcers, blood in
stools, jaundice, headache, nervousness, tension,
fall in blood pressure, chest pain, irregular heart
Death in the bottle
beat, congestive heart failure, kidney damage,
anemia, asthma, rashes, blurred vision.

538 A Lay Person's Guide

Additional Information Iodine
Drug Interactions Brand Name
Indomethacin reduces the effects of furosemide Iodophil, Viscous, Urografin
and thiazide diuretics.
With lithium can lead to lithium toxicity.
Antiseptic for wounds, burns, ulcers.
Aspirin should not be given with the drug.
* To disinfect the skin preoperatively
Patient Information
* Take with food/ milk/antacid.
Use a solution containing 2.5 gm/100 ml water as
* Notify physician if skin rashes edema, weight required.
gain black stools.
For sterilising water : add 4 drops to 1000 ml water, at
least 15 min before use.
Note: Wash skin and all other surfaces before
applying iodine solution.
Contra- Contra- Increased
indicated indicated risk of

* Patients with thyroid gland disorders.
* If irritation occurs in superficial wounds without
Rational Therapy Tips Adverse Effects
Q. Which is the safest and most effective Irritation, running nose, sore weeping eyes, fever,
antipyretic and analgesic to be used in headache, coughing and pain and swelling over the
children? angle of the jaw.
Ans. Common ones which can be used are:
Additional Information
1. Paracetamol - (Dose 10-15 mg/kg/dose
every 4-6 hrs) * Store in glass or earthen ware container with a
well waxed stopper.
2. Mefenamic acid - (Dose 6 mg/kgm/dose
every 6 hrs) * Do not use metal bowls.
3. Ibuprofen - (Dose 20 mg/kg/day divided * Accidental ingestion causes vomiting, diarrhoea,
into 3 doses) stomach pain.
Give milk/starch mucilage (sticky, viscous
preparation) before inducing vomiting and then give
activated charcoal.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 539

Ipecauanha Iron Dextran
Use Use
Antiemetic (Antivomit) Supplementation of iron to correct iron deficiency
Adults: 30 ml
Adults: 30-100 mg deep IM injection
Children: 6-18 months: 10 ml
Children: Reduced dose 30-60 mg
Older Children: 15 ml dose followed by tumblerful of Precaution
water and repeated after 20 minutes if necessary
Adverse Effects Avoid

* Excessive vomiting and mucosal damage.

* Cardiac effects if absorbed. Others
Discontinue and call doctor immediately. * Liver damage
* History of allergy or asthma
Adverse Effects
* Allergic reactions could occur - rashes, itching,
difficulty with breathing, sometimes fatal allergic
* IM injections - variable degrees of soreness at
or near the site of injection.
Rational Therapy Tips
* IV administration - inflammation of blood
Q. Is there any role of haemoglobin or vessel at the site of injection, if too rapid IV
protein preparations in anemia or infusion, reddening all over the body may result.
malnutrition? Pigmentation of the skin at the site of injection.
Ans. Haemoglobin tonics and protein Additional Information
preparations are very expensive and have
minimal utility if any. A patient who Drug Interactions
cannot afford to have food is likely to * Response to iron dextran injections is delayed in
suffer from these problems, so how can patients with iron deficiency anemia also
he/she afford to buy these tonics. It is receiving chloramphemiol.
advised not to use these tonics in affluent
community also as they are usually * Resistance to treatment may occur in cases of
unnecessary and irrational. Don't ever give decreased generation of blood cells, alcholism,
free samples of these drugs to poor patients as they presence of antimetabolic drugs and deficiencies
are likely to buy them later from the chemists. of Vit. B 6, B 12 C or E.
They should be in your hospital pharmacy * Vit.C enhances absorption of iron.
or on your desk.

540 A Lay Person's Guide

Isoniazid (INH) & Thiacetazone Additional Information

Use Drug Interactions

Treatment of TB * INH can interact with anti-convulsants,

antiepilepics (carbamezipine, phenytoin) to
Dosage reduce activity of latter.
Adults:1 tablet daily (300 + 150 mg) by mouth. * INH interacts with antacids.
Children under 6 years: 1 tab (100 + 50 mg), 6-12 yrs.: 2 Antacids if needed should be taken at one hour
tablets (100+50 mg), Over 12 years: 1 tablet (300 + interval before or after taking INH.
150 mg) daily by mouth. When the combination is
given to small children, an extra dose of INH upto Patient Information
10-20 mg/kg (max.300 mg) can be given because * If a dose is missed, take as soon as you
INH elimination from their bodies seems more remember, skip if time for the next dose. Do
rapid. Take on empty stomach. not take double doses.
Precaution * Pyridoxine (B6) supplementation may be
Contra- Avoid Contra- necessary to decrease adverse effects.
indicated indicated
* Take on empty stomach, 1-2 hrs before meals.
Contra- Contra-
In case of stomach upset, take with food after
indicated indicated risk of crushing and mixing with water.
Over 60 effects

Liver damage, high risk of adverse effects on
nervous disorders in malnourished, anemics and
those with seizure disorders
Adverse Effects
INH allergic reaction can cause serious liver damage Rational Therapy Tips
especially in people over 35 years and regular alcohol
Q. Which antitubercular drugs are not
INH causes deficiency of Vitamin B 6 leading to Ans. Streptomycin
nerve pain and tenderness in hands, feet.
Blurred vision/changes in vision.
Damage to the nervous system.
Allergic reaction to thiacetazone can be fatal. If
there is allergy/itching, discontinue and call the doctor

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 541

Isosorbide Dinitrate 3 tablets call the doctor immediately
(1 tab = 5-10 mg of the drug).
Brand Name
* Do not stop taking the the drug suddenly.
Isordil, Sorbitrate, Isomac - Retard
Consult doctor about this. Sudden stoppage may
Use cause heart attack.
* To treat sudden severe attacks of chest pain * Do not take other drugs without consulting
(acute angina). doctor, especially those against high BP,
* To prevent frequency of heart stroke or failure irregularity of heart beat, (e.g., anti-blood
(angina pectoris) or congestive heart failure. clotting agents, and anti-depressants.)

Dosage * Store in tightly closed containers. Exposing the

drug to air causes it to lose its effectiveness.
Acute attacks: 5-10 mg every 2-3 hours sublingually or
as chewable tabs. * Take on an empty stomach with full glass of
water to allow fast action.
Prevention: 20-40 mg 3-4 times daily or as per patients'
need. Upto 120 mg daily in divided doses may be * Extended release capsules and tablets are not to
necessary. Increase in dose should be gradual. be broken or crushed or chewed before they are
Inform doctor in case of blood disorders or
Safety not Reduced Contra-
established dose to be indicated anaemia, glaucoma, food absorption problem,
hemorrhage of blood vessel supplying to head, liver
Avoid Avoid Reduced
problem, recent heart attack.
dose to be
Over 60

Allergy to nitrates
Adverse Effects Rational Therapy Tips
* Most serious could be excessively lowered BP Q. Which drug should be avoided in a
Overdose: Bluish lips, finger nails, fainting, dizziness, patient having G-6PD deficiency?
unusually seizures, blurred vision and skin rash. Ans. A number of drugs lead to severe
* Headache is a common untoward effect, it does intravascular hemolysis in a known patient
not require discontinuation. of G-6PD deficiency. The drugs known to
cause significant hemolysis in G-6PD
Additional Information
deficient children include antimalarials
Patient information (primaquine, quinine chloroquine),
* In case chest pain persists after taking nitrofurantoin, fuzazoladone,
sulfonamide, nalidix acid, aspirin, analgin
and naphtalene which is used in moth

542 A Lay Person's Guide

Ketoconazole Levamisole
Brand Name Brand Name
Funazole Vermisol, Vizole
Use Use
Antifungal agent Antihelminthic
Adults: 200 mg once daily with food (14 days)
maximum 400 mg daily. Adults: 2.5 mg/kg

Children: 3 mg/kg daily. Children: 2.5 mg/kg

Precaution Precaution
Avoid Contra- Reduced Safety not Safety not Safety not
indicated dose to be established established established

Can Can Can Others

continue continue continue
use of use of use of
medicine medicine Over 60 medicine Nausea, vomiting.
Can Epigastric discomfort.
use of
medicine Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Others Additional Information
Liver or kidney problems, stomach ulcers, if there Not advisable to take drug in cases of kidney and
have been allergic reactions to antifungal drugs. liver insufficiency.
Never to be taken with terfenadine.
Adverse Effects
Nausea, abdominal pain, itching, skin rashes, fatal
liver damage
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* Antacids and ulcer healing drugs should not be
* Take the dose at the same time every day.
* Do not store in damp places.
* Do not take with antacids.
* Take with food.
* Notify physician if abdominal pain, diarrhoea,

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 543

Fever is a friend ;
it fights disease

Courtesy: Indian Academy of Pediatrics

when high, paracetamol alone is adequate


544 A Lay Person's Guide

Levodopa + Carbidopa urinary retention, muscle twitching, burning
sensation of tongue, bitter taste, diarrhoea,
Brand Name constipation, skin rash increased sweating, blurred
Bidopal, Levopa, Syndopa, Tidomet vision, loss of hair, fluid accumulation, edema,
weight gain, dark sweat or urine.
Altered taste.
To treat Parkinson's disease
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
Adults: 125 mg twice daily after food for 1 week, then
125 mg 4 times daily for 1 week and finally 375 mg Reserpine, benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, used as
daily upto 8 gm daily maximum. anti-psychotic), phenothiazines ( e . g. ,
chlorpromazine), butyrophenones, thioxanthenes
Children: Above 12 yrs: Same as adult dose. (used as anti-psychotics) reduce the efficacy of
Upto 12 yrs.: Dosage not established. levodopa and should not be given with it. Phenytoin
reverses the effect. Levodopa increases heartbeats
Precaution with anaesthetics like halothane, has enhanced low
Safety not
BP effect with antihypertensives, while iron reduces
absorption of levadopa. Levadopa levels increased
by domperidone and metoclopramide.
Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated Amphetamines should not be be given as they affect
the heart adversely.
Others Dietary effects
* Hypersensitivity to the drug. Avoid taking Vitamin B 6.
* Patients with suspicious history of skin lesions, Patient Information
skin cancer or melanoma.
* May cause GI upset so take with food.
* With heart problems, lung, kidney or liver disease
* May cause darkening of urine or sweat.
* Severe psychosis
* If fainting, dizziness occurs, avoid sudden
* Peptic ulcer changes in posture.
* Glaucoma
Adverse Effects
Uncontrolled movements, nausea and vomiting,
abdominal pain, headache, psychotic problems like
hallucinations, anxiety, agitation and delusions,
nightmares, fatigue.
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Others are irregular heart beat, mental changes,

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 545

Levothyroxime * Cholestyramine interferes with the uptake of
thyroid from the intestine. About 4-5 hours should
Use elapse between intake of both drugs.
Thyroid replacement therapy (for thyroid hormone * If oestrogens are taken, levels of hormone
deficiency) required in blood are lowered, hence increased
Dosage dose of thyroid needed.

Adults : Initially for 2-4 weeks (0.1 mg daily) to be Patient Information

increased (0.05 mg) every 2-3 weeks * Replacement therapy is generally needed for a life
Children : Initially 0.025mg increased to 0.1 mg and time.
maintained * Do not discontinue except on the advice of a
Precaution physician.
Can continue Can continue Can continue * Notify physician case of adverse effects.
use of use of use of
medicine medicine medicine
* Partial hair loss seen in children during first few
months of thyroid therapy. Usually a transient
Others phenomenon. Hair is recovered back.
Heart Problems
Adverse Effects
* Rare except in case of over dosages.
* Symptoms of over dosage/too rapid dosage
include palpitation, elevated pulse pressure
increased heart beats, irregular heart beats,
cardiac arrest.
* Tremors, headache, nervousness, insomnia.
* GI disorders
* Allergic skin reaction (symptoms differ in case of
chronic and acute over dosage.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
Thyroid replacement increases anticoagulant (anti-
blood clot) effects with agents such as warfarin or
bishydroxycoumarin. Hence, during thyroid therapy
reduce dose of anti-coagulants to one third.
* Thyroid therapy may require increase in dosage
of insulin or oral hypoglycemic (low blood sugar
inducing) agents.

546 A Lay Person's Guide

Lindane (Gamma Benzene Lithium Carbonate
Hexachloride) Brand Name
Use Licab/XL
To treat scabies and infestation (of scalp, body and Use
pubic hair) by lice.
Treatment of maniac depression, aggressive or self-
Dosage mutilating behaviour
Adults: 1% lotion/oint. applied to the affected parts Dosage
for 12-24 hours.
Adults: 0.25-2 gm daily dose adjusted to achieve a
Scabies: Repeat after 4 days. +
plasma concentration of 0.4-1.0 mmol Li /litre 12
Precaution hours after preceding dose on 4th or 7th day of
treatment and then every week for 4 weeks and then
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated every 3 months.
Others Avoid Contra-
risk of
* Do not apply to broken skin. effects

Contra- Contra- Reduced

* Do not apply to mucous membranes. indicated indicated dose to be
* If it enters the eye, rinse with water immediately. Over 60

* Boil all clothes, towel of patient. Others

Adverse Effects Heart or circulatory problems,kidney or liver
problems, overactive thyroid gland, myasthema
Nervousness, sleeplessness, irrtability, vertigo, gravis.
profound unconsciousness.
Serum Lithium levels to be monitored regularly and
Irregular heart beats. +
kept between 0.4 to 1.0 mmol Li /litre.
Never to be taken orally.
Adverse Effects
Additional Information
Muscular pain, blurred vision, gastro-intestinal
Patient Information disturbances, vomiting, diarrhoea, increased CNS
disturbances like drowsiness, loss of power of
* Do not apply to face.
muscular coordination (ataxia), tremor, lack of
* Notify physician if skin rashes occur. coordination, weight gain, convulsions.
* Do not exceed prescribed dosage. Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 547

Additional Information Mannitol
Drug Interactions Brand Name
* Theophylline, thiazide diuretics and furosemide Stilamin
should not be given.
* Indomethacin, phenytoin, tetracycline,
methyldopa, carbamazepine, haloperidol, Osmotic diuretics
increase lithium toxicity and should not be given Dosage
Adults: By IV infusions : Diuresis 50-200 gm over 24
Patient Information hours, preceded by a test dose of 200 mg/kg by slow
* Maintain adequate fluid and salt intake. IV injection.
* Drink 10 to 12 glasses of fluid daily. Cerebral oedema : 1 gm/kg as a 20% solution given
by IV infusion.
* Take medication with food/milk.
Discontinue therapy if signs of toxicity occur.
Heart failure and pulmonary oedema (excessive
* Avoid sauna bath (causes dehydration) fluid in lungs)
* Contact physician if fever or diarrhoea occur. Adverse Effects
Chills, fever, urinary retention, edema, dryness of
mouth, thirst, dehydration.
Discontinue and call the doctor immediately.
Essential Drugs Monitor

"Oh but every medicine has these

things called side-effects you

548 A Lay Person's Guide

Mefloquine Methylene Blue
Use Use
Antimalarial Treatment of drug induced methaemo-globinemia,
the presence of methemoglobin (a transformation
of haemoglobin) in circulating blood.
Adults: 250 mg per week for 4 weeks
Also in treatment of urinary tract infection.
Children: 2-5 years: 1/4 adult dose, 6-8 years: 1/2
adult dose, 9-11 years: 3/4 adult dose.
1% solution of methylene blue as injection, using a
dose of 1 mg/kg.
Avoid Avoid Avoid
Adverse Effects
* Discolours urine and stool (blue green).
Avoid Avoid
* May cause bladder irritation.
Over 60
* Nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea.
* Large doses-abdominal pain, dizziness,
Nausea, vomiting
headache profuse sweating, fever, mental
Adverse Effects confusion and decreased oxygen carrying
capacity of blood.
Digestive problems dizziness, headache, sleep
disturbances, hallucinations, itching, skin rashes and * Subcutaneous Injection: Inflammation at site of
lesions. injection.
Slow heart beat abnormal spontaneous sensations * Intrathecal injection: Neural damage.
of burning, pricking.
* Injection in aminiotic sac - irregularities in heart
Confusion, depressive feeling. beat of foetus, anemia in newborn, blood
disorders and blue skin.
Continue the drug and consult your doctor.
Additional Information
Additional Information
Patient Information
Drug Interactions
* Take oral form after meals with a glass of water.
* Digoxin should not be taken.
* May stain skin blue, can be removed by a
* Epileptic patients taking valproate should not
hypochlorite solution.
take mefloquine.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 549

Cleaning wounds
immediately is essential

Courtesy: Indian Academy of Pediatrics

clean with soap & water only

----- ointments not necessary


550 A Lay Person's Guide

Metoclopramide Morphine
Brand Name Brand Name
Emenil, Maxeron, Perinom, Tomid Morcontin Continus
Anti-vomit agent
* To relieve pain - moderate to severe, caused by
injury, surgery or any form of chronic pain.
Adults: 10-15 mg, 4 times daily. Not greater than 0.5
mg/kg body weight.Take 30 mins. before meals and at * Induces sleep and lessens anxiety. Therefore may
bedtime. be used as a premedi-cation before surgery.
Children: 0.5-2.0 mg/kg/day every 6-8 hrs. * Reduces intestinal motility (power of spontaneous
Precaution movement) and is used in the symptomatic
Safety not Contra- Contra-
treatment of diarrhoea.
established indicated indicated

Contra- Contra-
5-25 mg per dose. However, dosage may vary from
indicated indicated individual to individual.
Over 60
Administered as tablets or injections.
Kidney and liver problems, patients with epilepsy Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
Adverse Effects
Muscle dystonias (abnormal muscle contractions).
Contra- Contra- Reduced
* CNS: drowsiness restlessness, fatigue, loss of sleep, indicated indicated dose to be
depression. Over 60

* GI nausea, diarrhoea, rapid heart beat, asthmatic Others

Should be taken with caution in patients suffering from
Drug induced movement disorder. impaired liver function, prostate enlargement, shock
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. or decreased blood volume.
Additional Information * Contraindicated in head injury and in patients with
Drug Interactions lung diseases.
Sedatives and tranquilisers should not be taken with Adverse Effects
the drug. Drug reduces the absorption of digoxin,
cimetidine and accelerates that of tetracycline, In normal doses: Nausea, vomiting, consti-pation,
levodopa, aspirin and diazepam. drowsiness, confusion may cause transient side-
Patient Information
In larger doses: Respiratory problems, decrease in blood
* Take medication 30 mins before meal.
circulation and blood pressure, convulsions.
* Notify physician if involuntary movement of eyes
and limbs occur.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 551

In long-term use: Habit forming and causes addiction. Neomycin
Additional Information Use
Drug Interactions Bacterial infection in ears, bowel sterilisation, acute eye
* If taken with other sedatives and alcohol,
increases the sedative effects. Dosage
As eyedrops: 0.5% (3500 units/ml); bowel
Nitrous oxide, diazepam, chlorpromazine, sterilisation: by mouth - 1 gm every 4 hours
cimetidine should not be given.
Patient Information indicated

Notify physician if shortness of breath occurs.

Physical dependence occurs on prolonged use. Adverse Effects
* Nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
* Decreased absorption of nutrients.
* Colitis (inflammation of colon)
* Prolonged use/high dosage therapy - damage to
kidneys and auditory system.
* Topical preparations may also cause kidney damage
(nephrotoxicity) and damage to auditory system

Additional Information
Drug Interactions
Oral Neomycin therapy
* Should not be administered with penicillin V
* Decreases effect of digitalis. Space the intervals
between intake of the two drugs.
* Enhances effects of oral anticoagulants by causing
malabsorption of Vitamin K.
* Avoid concurrent use of diuretics to reduce risks
of adverse effects.
* Avoid concurrent use of other nephrotoxic and
ototoxic agents (kidney and ear toxic).
Patient Information
Oral therapy
* Complete full course of therapy.
* Notify physician if ringing in ears, hearing
Source : Medical Ethics Vol.3, No.4 impairment or dizziness occur.
October - December 1995
Topical application
* Cleanse affected area prior to application unless
otherwise directed.

552 A Lay Person's Guide

Niclosamide Nifedipine
Brand Name Brand Name
Niclosan Calcigard, Depicor, Depin, Myogard, Nicardia,
* Treatment and prevention of angina and
Adults: 2 gm as a single dose for 7-14 days.
* Used to control high blood pressure
Children: (11 - 34 kgs) 0.5 - 1 gm as a single dose.
(Above 34 kgs): 1 - 1.5 gm as a single dose.
Adults: 10 mg thrice daily during meals or after.
Precaution Increase to 20 mg if required. Liver problems in
Can Can Contra- elderly: 5 mg thrice daily. Usual maintenance dose: 5-
continue continue indicated
use of use of 20 mg, 3 times daily.
medicine medicine
For immediate relief
From heart stroke: Bite into capsule and swallow
Chew tablets properly
Adverse Effects
For mild to moderately high blood pressure: 30 mg
Nausea, constipation, rectal bleeding, drowsiness, once daily. Increase if necessary. Decrease if liver
headache, skin rashes, fever, weakness, bad taste in problems.
mouth, rapid heart beats, backache and irritability.
Maxmimum 90 mg/day once.
Additional Information
Patient Information Avoid Contra-

* Chew tablets, then swallow with a small amount

of water. Avoid Avoid Increased
risk of
* Take with food (after breakfast). Over 60

* Use laxative to relieve constipation if necessary. Contra-

* Notify physician if condition worsens, or if rash
or irritation develops.
* Low heart rate
* Severe low BP
* Liver problems
* Diabetes
* Allergy to nifedipine

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 553

Adverse Effects Nitrofurantoin (NFT)
Transient headache, flushing, lethargy. Brand Name
Less common: difficulty in breathing, chest pain, Furadantin, Nephrogesic, Trifuran
fainting, irregular heart beat, rashes/reddening.
Discontinue and call the doctor immediately.
Prevention and treatment of infections of urinary
* Serious adverse effects may result in patients tract.
with compromised heart function
* Swelling over feet
Daily 5-7 mg/kg
Additional Information
Adults: 50-100mg 4 times daily, during or
Patient Information immediately after meals for about 14 days.
* Do not stop taking this drug suddenly. Consult Infants: 1 month or more: 5-7 mg/kg/day. Reduce
the doctor before doing so. dosage if it is to be used beyond 10-14 days.
* More effective when low sodium diet and Preventive dose : 50-100 mg as a single dose at bed
exercise are included in the daily regime. time.
Drug Interactions Precaution
* Quinidine (antiarrhythmic) Safety
Avoid Avoid

* Rifampicin (antibacterial)
* Phenytoin (antiepileptic) Avoid Avoid Avoid

* Antihypertensive (against high BP) Over 60

* Muscle relaxants Others

* Not to be used in case of kidney damage,
diabetes, liver damage.
Adverse Effects
* Dangerous drug especially in the old. Affects
peripheral nervous system (PNS).
* Anemia and other blood disorders.
* Rare : skin rashes, fever or other allergic
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
* Long-term therapy: Irreversible damage to lungs
and liver.

554 A Lay Person's Guide

Additional Information Nitrous Oxide
Patient Information Use
* Take medication even after symptoms subside till Inhalation anaesthetic
you have completed the entire course.
* Avoid the drug as far as possible especially if you
are over 60 yrs. General anaesthesia induction: 70 % with 30 %
* Gives a false positive result for urinary glucose (in
tests for diabetes). Maintenance - Inhalation 30% to 70% with oxygen.
* Interacts with a wide range of drugs. Inform For obstetrics or procedures not requiring loss of
doctor of all drugs being taken before taking consciousness-
NFT. Inhalation 25-50 % with oxygen.
Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated

* Intestinal obstruction
* Pneumothorax (air in pleural cavity of lungs)
* Head injury
* High doses in prolonged delivery.
Adverse Effects
Diffusion, lack of oxygen, drug induced high fever,
delirium, irregular heart beats, inability to walk, loss
of bladder and bowel control, mental changes,
n u m b n e s s i n h a n d s , l e g s
or feet or unsteadiness, breathing problems, nausea,
vomiting, sore throat, blood disorders.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 555

Norethisterone * Depression

(Combined oral contraceptive pills) * Epilepsy

Brand name * Kidney problems

Noristerat * Migraine, pregnancy

Use * Thrombophlebitis (a kind of inflammation of

Female sex hormones
Adverse Effects
* for treatment of menstrual disorders (absence of
periods) Heart disorders, pulmonary embolism (a kind of
* bleeding of uterus obstruction in the lungs), altered menstrual
patterns, vision problems, bulging eyes, severe
* to treat endometriosis (see below) headaches, pain in chest, groin or leg, breathing
* as a contraceptive problems, slurred speech, numbness or pain in arm
or leg, mental depression, skin rashes changes in
appetite and weight.
Adults: To prevent pregnancy - 1-5 mg/day starting
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
on day 5 of the cycle and continuing uninterrupted
thereafter. Additional Information
Female hormonal imbalance: 5-20 mg a day on day 5 * Take at same time each day.
through day 25 of menstrual cycle.
* When used for contraception. Discontinue use
Endometriosis (a condition in which fragments of when a dose is missed and use alternative birth
uterine lining occur outside the uterus in the pelvic control method until menstrual cycle begins or
cavity): Initially 10 mg a day for 2 weeks, then led by 5 pregnancy is ruled out.
mg at 2 week intervals upto 30 mg/day for 6-9
Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated

* Test for pregnancy
* Carcinoma of breast or reproductive organs.
* Liver problems
* Undiagnosed vaginal bleeding
* Missed abortion
* Asthma
* Heart problems

556 A Lay Person's Guide

Nystatin Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

Brand Name Additional Information

Mycostatin Patient Information

Use * All the nystatin a doctor prescribes should be

taken even if you feel better before the entire
Oral form: to treat infection in mouth and intestinal course finishes. If stopped too soon, symptoms
infections caused mainly by fungi. can come back.
Topical: to treat skin infections caused by fungi.
Vaginal: to fungal infection of vagina/vulva.
In most cases above, the causative fungus is of
Candida albicans.
Adults: Oral form : 500,000 to 100,0000 units 3 to 4
Infants: 100,000 units or more 4 times daily.
For lesions of mouth : Suspension containing
100,000 units used.
For tropical use: 100,000 units per gm. of
ointment/cream/gel may be applied.
For vaginal infection : 1 or 2 pessaries contanining
100,000 units inserted daily. (1 mg = 3000 units)
Can Can Reduced
continue continue dose to be
use of use of taken
medicine medicine


Over 60

History of sensitivity to nystatin
Adverse Effects
Occasionally : nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea may
* Following topical use allergic reaction may be

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 557

Pethidine Phenobarbitone
Use Use
Narcotic analgesic (pain killer) CNS (Central Nervous System) depressant to treat
Adults: 50-150 mg/dose
Adults: 2 mg/kg daily (max 100 mg) at night.
Children: 1-2 mg/kg per dose IM or IV
Increase if required to 6 mg/kg in 2 or more divided
Precaution doses.
Safety not Contra- Reduced
established indicated dose to be Children: 3-6 mg/kg daily.
Infants: Upto 8 mg/kg may be required for beneficial
Contra- Contra- Reduced effect.
indicated indicated dose to be
Over 60 Precaution
Safety not Contra- Contra-
Others established indicated indicated

Kidney, liver, heart problems, epileptic fits, asthma,

bronchitis, thyroid disorder, prostate problems. Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated

Adverse Effects Over 60

D i z z i n ess, n a usea , vo m i ti n g , d rowsi n ess, Others

constipation, confusion, breath shortness, dry
* Acute intermittent porphyria (a rare, inherited
blood disorder)
Overdose symptoms :
* Liver and kidney problems
* Muscle twitching, nervousness, shallow
* Breathing problems
breathing, drowsiness loss of conscious-ness.
Adverse Effects
Additional Information
Sleep inducing, thinking abnormality, agitation,
It produces drug dependence if taken for long
confusion, nightmares, circulatory collapse,
periods of time.
vomiting, constipation, skin rashes, thrombosis
(blood clotting) and gangrene due to intra-arterial
injection, headache, liver damage, anemia, sore
throat, arthritic pain, rickets, (a calcium deficiency
disease in young children and infants), osteomalacia
(softening of bones with severe pain).
Additional Information
* Valproic acid and chloramphenicol decrease the
metabolism of the drug.

558 A Lay Person's Guide

* Phenobarbitone shortens half life of Phenoxymethyl Penicillin
doxycycline, quinidine, digitoxin, corti-
costeroids, griseofulvin, rifampicin, and Use
phenytoin. Alongwith frusemide it results in Antibiotic to treat inflammation of tonsils, middle
hypotension (below normal BP). ear and skin;
Patient Information * Rheumatic fever
Do not increase the dose without consulting a Dosage
Adults :250-500 mg every 6 hrs, 30 min before food.
Be cautious while driving when on treatment.
Children : 25-30 mg/kg per day in 4 divided doses.
Safety not Contra- Contra-
established indicated indicated


Over 60

Kidney, liver, heart problems, stomach problems
Rational Therapy Tips Adverse Effects
Q. What is rational about anti-convulsant Blood disorders, skin reactions, serum sickness,
therapy? stomach upset, fever, kidney problems.
Ans. Use one drug at a time and try to use the
second one only if a fair trial of about 4 to Discontinue and call the doctor immediately.
8 weeks has been tried with the first drug Additional Information
with adequate dosage and g ood
compliance. It is better to change in case Patient Information
of failure rather than adding one more Have good potassium, sodium, calcium intake.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 559

Phenytoin * Phenytoin reduces the effects of different drugs:
dexamethasone, prednisolone, furosemide,
Brand Name digitoxin.
Dilantin, Eptoin Patient Information
Use * Take medication with food.
Anticonvulsant used against some forms of * Maintain good dental hygiene
epilepsy (grandmal and temporal lobe epilepsy)
* Urine discoloration may occur.
* Diabetic patient should report any
Adults: 4-5 mg/kg daily increased by 25 mg daily abnormalities.
upto max. 10 mg/kg daily.
Children: 5 mg/kg in 2 divided doses increased slowly
upto max. 8 mg/kg daily.
Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated

* Heart problems
* IV administration not greater than 50 mg per Rational Therapy Tips
Q. D o e s p h e n o b a r b i t o n e a f f e c t
Adverse Effects performance of a child?
Slurred speech, mental confusion, dizziness, Ans. Yes. In quite a few children it causes
insomnia, ner vousness, motor twitchings, hyperactivity and reduces their attention
headache, tremors, drowsiness, seizures, nausea, span.
vomiting, diarrhoea / constipation, skin rashes,
anemia, liver damage, problems with gums,
hirsutism (excessive body hair), acute inflammation
of lungs (pneumonitis).
Continue to take the drug and inform the doctor.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* Drugs affecting phenytoin, barbiturates,
carbamazepine, folic acid, calcium gluconate,
antacid, cloxacillin, dietary calciuam reduce
phenytoin availability.

560 A Lay Person's Guide

Pilocarpine Piperazine Citrate
Brand Name Brand Name
Carpo-Miotic, Pilocar Helmazan
Use Use
* First drug of choice to treat glaucoma (condition Anti-helminthic drug.
in which pressure of fluid inside the eye
Treatment of infestation with round worms and
thread worms
* To treat dryness of mouth- e.g., following
head/neck radiation treatment.
For infestation by round worms: 75 mg/kg (maximum
* To counteract dilation of pupils caused by drugs
3.5 gm) as a single dose for 2 consecutive days for
during eye surgery.
adults and children.
Thread worm infestation: 65 mg/kg as a single dose
As eye drops: 0.5 - 4.0% solution instilled as eye (max. 2.5 gm) given for 7 days.
drops, every 4-8 hours.
To prevent reinfection : a second course may be
To treat dryness of mouth: 2.5 - 5 mg orally required 1-2 weeks after the first.
Precautuion Precaution
Safety not Can Increased Safety not Reduced Reduced
established continue risk of established dose to be dose to be
use of adverse taken taken
medicine Over 60 effects Over 60

Can Avoid Can Avoid

continue continue
use of use of
medicine medicine

Adverse Effects Others

Transient: Salivation, sweating, blurred vision or eye Not to be taken by patients with epilepsy, kidney
pain. problems and liver problems.
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. Adverse Effects
Additional Information Serious adverse effects are rare.
Patient Information Overdosage or impaired excretion may result in
nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea or severe damage to
* Inform doctor in case of asthma, inflammed eye,
nervous system
if contact lens is being used or if other
medication is being taken. Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 561

Additional Information Podophyllin
Drug Interactions Use
* Interacts with phenothiazine, anti-psychotics Used for warts around the anal/genital regions or on
(against mental disorders) soles of feet. Can be treated by topical application.
* It also interacts with other antihelminthics. For Dosage
instance, it antagonises the action of pyrantel
pamoate. Adults: Apply a solution (10-15%) for 1-6 hrs. Repeat
after 1 week for 4 weeks.
For large lesions - Use 5-10% to minimise toxicity.
Children: same as above
Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated

Adverse Effects
* Friable bleeding or recently biopsied warts.
Avoid application on
* Mole or birthmarks
* To small areas of intact skin
* Avoid contact with mouth or eyes
* Do not use near heat, open flame or smoking
Additional Information
System toxicity: Death can occur if amount as small
as 300 mg is ingested. Kidney and liver failure,
cerebral toxicity. System toxicity includes stomach
pain, clumsiness, unsteadiness, vomiting,
confusion, diarrhoea, weakness, sore throat,
unusual bleeding.

562 A Lay Person's Guide

Potassium Chloride * Nausea, diar rhoea, paralysis, hear t
abnormalities, impaired brain functions, coma
Brand Name and in severe cases death.
K-Grad, Kay-Ciel, Keylyte, Potklor, Electral preps Discontinue the drug. Call the doctor immediately.
Use Additional Information
To compensate for loss of potassium (e.g., prolonged * IV injections should be given slowly as high
diarrhoea/vomiting, prolonged treatment with blood concentration can effect heart function.
diuretics, kidney disease, long term treatment with
corticosteroids). * Black tarry tools or bloody vomit indicate
stomach/intestinal bleeding. Consult doctor
* Digoxin toxicity. immediately.
* Hypokalemia (abnormally low potassium in * Should not be taken with potassium sparing
circulating blood). diuretics those that (increase urine, reduce salt
Dosage and water in kidneys), cylosporins (drugs used
to reduce body’s natural immunity in patients
(1 Tab.= 312 mg of potassium) receiving organ transplants) and ACE inhibitors
* Potassium Chloride tabs/powder dissolved in (used to lower high BP).
water/juice (not tomato juice).
* Oral consumption should be in form of well
diluted solutions to avoid severe nausea.
* To be consumed immediately after or with meals to
lessen possibility of upset stomach.
Can Can Can
continue continue continue
use of use of use of
medicine medicine medicine

Can Avoid Can

continue continue
use of use of
medicine Over 60 medicine

* High potassium levels especially in case of
impaired kidney function.
* Extensive tissue damage (e.g.burns)
Adverse Effects
* Decreased excretion.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 563

Praziquantel Prednisolone
Use Use
Antihelminthic. Corticosteroid - (used against inflammation, allergic
disorders of skin, blood disorders, some liver
Effective against tape worms or schistomes (a group
disorders, gastrointestinal, kidney disorders and
of parasites including flukes of the genus
disorders of nervous system).
Adults: 5-60 mg/day, varies according to condition.
* Given as a single dose of 40 mg/kg after a light
Not greater than 250 mg daily.
Children: 2 mg/kg/day every 6-8 hrs orally after
* Alternatively, as 3 doses of 20 mg/kg.
* Differs with type of infestation
Preparations for topical application: 0.5% strength.
* Should be preferably swallowed without
grinding/breaking because of very bitter taste.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
Avoid Can Contra-
continue indicated
use of
medicine Adverse Effects
Avoid Burning, itching, hypopigmentation (sub-normal
colouring of skin).
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Adverse Effects
Prolonged application around eyes leads to cataract
Transient: Abdominal discomfort, headache
and glaucoma.
Do not withdraw suddenly.
Occasional: Fever, rashes blood changes, nervous
system disorders. Additional Information
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. Patient Information
Additional Information * Apply sparingly, i.e., rub in lightly - a light film
Patient Information
* Avoid getting in eyes.
* Do not miss any doses.
* Notify physician if the condition worsens.
* If there is cyst (abnormal sac or closed cavity
with liquid or solid matter) formation by the
worm in brain, the drug can cause irreversible eye

564 A Lay Person's Guide

Primaquine Procain Benzyl Penicillin
Brand Name Use
PMQ-INGA Antibiotic against some sexually transmitted
Use diseases.
Antimalarial used after standard malaria therapy to Dosage
destroy certain forms of malaria germs in the liver
(radical cure of Plasmodium Vivax). Adults: 300-600 mg 1-2 times daily for 2 days after
constitutional symptoms have resolved and for
minimum of 7 days. Or 5-10 lakh units, 12 hourly
Adults: 0.25 mg/kg or 15 mg daily for 14 days. IM.
For G-6PD Deficiency: 0.75 mg/kg weekly for 8 Gonorrhoea: 5 gm at 2 injection sites.
Children: Over 1 year 0.25 mg/kg for 14 days. Syphilis: 6 gm daily at 2 sites for 10 days. Later 9 gm
daily in 9 divided doses for 15 days.
Contra- Contra- Contra- Neuro and Cardiovascular syphilis: 12 gm daily in
indicated indicated indicated
divided doses for 20 days.
Others Children: Congenital syphilis : upto 32 kg of body
weight - 0.05 gm/kg daily for 10 days.
Acutely ill suffering from systemic infections like
rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus erytho-matosis Initial and late syphilis: Over 12 yrs.: as for adults.
(SLE), blood disorders like anemia.
Note: Some children may require upto 0.1 gm/kg of
Pregnancy. body weight daily in divided doses.
G-6PD deficiency (an inherited deficiency leading Precaution
to a glycogen storage disease). Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
Adverse Effects
GI tract problems like nausea, vomiting, distress and
cramps, anemia, headache, rashes, vision problems. Others
Haemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), Administer by IM route only (to be given only after
cyanosis (dark blue or purple coloration of skin and sensitivity testing).
mucous membrane), methemo-globinemia
Adverse Effects
(deficency of a hemoglobin, methoglobin, in
circulating blood). As for Cloxacillin
Additional Information * Very high doses in veneral diseases may give rise
Drug Interactions to anxiety confusion, agitation, or depression,
Quinidine hydrochloride increases the toxicity of seizures, hallucinations, fear of impending
this drug and should not be given. death. Also anaphylaxis (sudden severe allergic
Patient Information
* Complete therapy course
* If stomach upsets seen may be taken with food
and antacids.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 565

Procainamide Pyrantel Pamoate
Brand Name Brand Name
Pronestyl Pymoate Combination
Use Use
Used to treat irregularities of heart beat. Antihelminthic
Dosage Dosage
Adults: By mouth: 250 mg every 4-6 hrs. Adults: 10-15 mg/kg as a single dose.
Slow IV injection: 25-50 mg/min as required. Children: Below 2 years not to be used. Above 2 yrs
(maximum 1 gm). use adult dose (course may be repeated in 2/3
Maintenance IM injection: (100-250 mg) every 4-6
hours. Roundworms: adults and children 10 mg/kg in a
single dose.
Can Can Hookworms: children and adults, 20mg/kg/day for
continue use continue use
of medicine of medicine 3 days.
Safety not Can Contra-
established continue indicated
Kidney problems, asthma, myasthenia gravis (a type use of
of chronic, progressive, muscular weakness), heart
block, heart failure, low BP. Others
Adverse Effects In liver problems: Iron supplementation to patients
is advised. Use with caution in liver patients.
Hypotension (subnormal BP) serious disturbances
of cardiac rhythm, anorexia (low appetite and food Adverse Effects
aversion), nausea, rashes, systemic lupus
Headache, dizziness, sleeplessness, rash, stomach
erythematosus (a chronic inflammatory disease
(GI) upset. These are mild and transient.
affecting the skin and various organs).
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Discontinue the drug and inform doctor.
Additional Information
Additional Information
For pinworm infestation treat all members of the
Drug Interactions
household simultaneously. Should not be used with
Cimetidine and lidocaine should not be given with piperazine.
the drug.
May be required to take iron tablets every day to clear
Patient Information up anemia resulting from hookworm infection.
* Do not discontinue the therapy unless
instructed by physician.
* Take at evenly spaced intervals.

566 A Lay Person's Guide

Pyrazinamide Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
Brand Name Brand Name
Lynamide, P-Zide, PZA-Ciba, Piraldina, Pyzina Pyricontin, Continus
Use Part of several Vitamin B-complex preparations
To treat tuberculosis Use
Dosage Deficiency of Vit.B 6 caused during isoniazid
For first 2 months, 20 to 30 mg/kg/day in 3-4 therapy.
divided doses. Dosage
Precaution Adults: Dependency syndrome - 30-600 mg/day
Can Safety
continue not Maintenance - 50 mg/day
use of established
Dr ug induced deficiency: 10-300 mg/day
Others depending on the causative drug.
* Liver damage Hereditary anemia: 200-600 mg/day then 30-50
* History of gout or diabetes mellitus. mg/day for life.

* If skin rashes seen then withdraw. Dependency syndrome:

Adverse Effects Infants: 2-10 mg/day.

Abnormal liver function, enlargement of liver, Children: adult dose.

jaundice, vomiting, diarrhoea, gout, anemia and Dietary supplement: 2.5-10 mg/day for 3 weeks,
rashes, sensitivity to light and sunlight. then 2-5 mg/day for several weeks.
Patient Information Precaution
If fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, Can
darkened urine, notify physician. use of use of use of
medicine medicine medicine

* Parkinson’s disease treated with Levodopa.
* Doses greater than 200 mg/day for 30 days cause
* Doses greater than 2 - 6 gm cause serious side-
* Liver and kidney problems.
* In use as substitute for balance diet.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 567

Adverse Effects Quinidine
High doses cause sensory neuropathy, unstable gait, Brand Name
numb feet and hands, weakness.
Quinidine (B-W)
Additional Information
Dietary Source: Meat, bananas, potatoes, lime,beans
and whole grain cereals. Slows heart rate and treats irregularities of heart
Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA):
0-6 months : 0.3 mg
(As quinidine sulphate) 200-400 mg 3 times a day.
6-12 months : 0.9 mg Take with food or milk to reduce possibility of
4-6 yrs : 1.3 mg stomach upset.
Adult males : 2.2 mg Do not crush or chew before swallowing.
Females : 2.0 mg 200 mg test dose can be administered to check for
allergic reaction to the drug.
Pregnant women : 2.6 mg
Lactating women : 2.5 mg
Safety not Contra- Contra-
established indicated indicated

Safety not Avoid Reduced

established dose to be
Over 60

* Heart block
* Allergy to drug
* Patient should be monitored closely
R. K. Laxman in The Times of India

Adverse Effects
* Some individuals are very sensitive and can
experience blurred vision, dizziness, severe
headache, ringing in the ears, rashes or other
forms of allergic reactions.
* Diarrhoea is common.
* Anemia and other blood disorders.
* In some cases, the drug itself can cause
irregularities in rhythm of heart beats
Is there anybody in the house not affected by malaria ?
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

568 A Lay Person's Guide

Additional Information Riboflavin (Vitamin B2 )
Patient Information Use
* Do not stop this drug suddenly. To prevent/treat deficiency of riboflavin
* Do not take double doses. (deficiency symptoms include sore throat,
inflammation of mouth, red denuded lips, glossy
Drug Interactions tongue, skin changes over face and trunk
* Adverse effect may result on interaction with extremities, blood changes and anaemia, nervous
drugs like digoxin digitalis, drugs against high system disorders).
BP, anti-coagulants and muscle relaxants. Also used as permitted colouring agent for food.
* Phenytoin/phenobarbitone reduce the Dosage
efficacy of quinidine.
Recommended daily intake: 0.6 mg per 1000 Kcal dietary
requirement. (Dietary sources include - cereals,
whole grains, leafy vegetables, milk, cheese, eggs,
Treatment of deficiency: 5-10 mg riboflavin per day.
Adverse Effects
* Excess riboflavin is excreted in urine.
* Prolonged use of large doses of riboflavin alone
may deplete other B vitamins and it is therefore
best taken with other B vitamins.
Additional Information
Patient Information
Rational Therapy Tips
* Requirements are increased during pregnancy
Q. Which is the most common irrational and lactation.
drug used for treatment of victims of
polio? * Usually administered by mouth, but may be
injected if for any reason it cannot be absorbed or
Ans. B1 , B6 , B12 combination tonics. They have
utilised by the oral route.
no role to play in the treatment of polio.
Q. What is the role of neurotonics in
mental retardation?
Ans. No documented role of these drugs is
available in the authentic literature

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 569

Rifampicin + INH + Pyrazinamide * Report to your doctor if jaundice appears.

Brand Name Additional Information

Tricox, Rifater, Montorip, Rinzid Drug Interactions

Use * Rifampicin especially interacts with

anticoagulants (anti blood clotting agents), oral
* For initial intensive phase treatment of antidiabetics and oral contraceptives.
* INH interacts with several drug. Pyrazinamide
* Can be used in the continuous phase also interferes with action of probenecid (used in
Dosage gout therapy).

Upto 5 tabs a day providing Rifampicin 600 mg, INH * Antacids reduce absorption of INH and
400 mg and Pyrazinamide 1250 mg. Given as a single rifampicin.
dose one hour before food in the morning. * Pyridoxine supplementation should be taken by
Precaution patients taking this drug especially those prone
Contra- Avoid Reduced
to pyridoxine (B 6) deficiency.
indicated dose to be
taken * Foods like cheese should be avoided.

Contra- Reduced Contra-

* Food decreases absorption of INH and
indicated dose to be
indicated rifampicin.
Over 60

* Individuals allergic to any of the compo-nents of
the combination.
* Liver disease
* Jaundice
* Gout
* To be administered with caution in patients with Rational Therapy Tips
liver damage, alcoholics, potential pyridoxine (B Q. Which antitubercular drug should not
6) deficients. be used under 3 years of age?
Adverse Effects Ans. Ethambutol has ocular (eye related)
toxicity, which is difficult to assess under 3
* Generally well tolerated. years of age.
* May cause liver damage, gout, uric acid
accumulation, disturbances of nervous system.
* Photosensitivity
Do not stop the drug therapy on your own.

570 A Lay Person's Guide

Silver Nitrate Silver Sulfadiazine
Use Brand Name
* To destroy warts and other small skin growths Argenex, SSZ, Applicaps, Silvirin
* In treatment of anal and vulval itching and other Use
non- specific infection
* For treatment and prevention of infections in
* In eyedrops severe burns.
* In burns to reduce infection. * Infected leg ulcers.
Dosage Dosage
Non specific infections: Anal or vulval itching - 1% 1 % cream applied daily to a thickness of 3-5 mm
solution used.
As eye drops: 0.2 - 0.6% solution Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
Burns: 0.5% solution
Others Others
* Discontinue use if redness or irritation Liver and kidney problems/impairment
Sensitivity to sulfonamide
* Do not apply to wounds, cuts or broken skin.
Adverse Effects
Adverse Effects
Adverse effects due to sulfadiazine (similar to those
* Corrosive and can cause damage to various for sulfonamides) may occur.
Rare: Local reactions/fungal infections of the
* Chronic application causes silver poisoning wound may occur.
(permanent discoloration of skin, conjunctiva
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
and other internal organs).
Additional Information
* Blood changes
Patient Information
Continue the drug and inform the doctor.
* Apply with a sterile gloved hand once or twice
Additional Inforamtion
daily. Or use a sterile applicator.
Patient Information
* When feasible bathe the patient daily.
* Fatal dose as low as 2 gms.
* Continue treatment till satisfactory healing has
* Oral intake is harmful and can be treated with 10 occured and no more risk of infection.
gm/ltr solution of sodium chloride. Consult
* If splashed in the eyes, wash copiously with

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 571

Sodium Bicarbonate Others

Brand Name * Long-term liver, kidney, heart problems

Acidin, Acigone, Electral forte, Gaviscon * High BP

Use * Severe abdominal pain or nausea.

* Relief from indigestion * Low sodium diet

* Excess acidity in stomach * Not for acidity caused due to respiratory

* Heartburn
Note: Not to be used daily for longer than 2 weeks.
* Relieves discomforts due to peptic ulcers
Adverse Effects
* To reduce acidity of urine and to relieve painful
urination Prolonged use: Weakness fatigue, irritability and
muscle cramps.
* To reduce the risk of kidney stones in gout
sufferers * Increased sodium in blood may lead to above
and/or fluid accumulation in various organs of
* To decrease the acidity of body fluids due to the body
diarrhoea or kidney problems
Additional Information
* Wash solutions and spray solutions for the throat
and nose to render mucus less viscous. Drug Interactions

* Taken to relieve cough Interacts with oral blood clotting agents,

t e t r a c y c l i n e s, p h e n a t h i a z i n e s, o r a l i r o n
* As an eye lotion preparations, lithium, diuretics and corticosteroids.
* As ear drop to soften and remove wax.
* Rinsing solution for contact lenses.
Indigestion: 1-16 gms as required orally
Rational Therapy Tips
Gout: 1-16 gms 4 times daily
Q. What is the best solution for blocked
To decrease acidity of body fluids : Intra-venous nose?
Ans: Saline nasal drops. It can be prepared by
As eye solution : 3.5 % solution in warm water adding 1/4 teaspoon of common salt to a
glass of water. Boil it and cool it.

Safety not Safety not Avoid

established established

Contra- Avoid Reduced

indicated dose to be
Over 60

572 A Lay Person's Guide

Sodium Chloride Sodium Chloride + Dextrose
Use (Glucose)
To replace excessive losses of sodium and chloride Use
ions. To replenish water lost in acute diarrhoea and
Loss as in case of excessive sweating, cholera.
Addison’s disease (deficiency of cor tical Addition of dextrose facilitates absorption of
hormones), kidney problems, diarrhoea. sodium from the intestinal tract.
* Used alongwith other electrolyte solutions and Dosage
dextrose as a dialysis solution in treatment of As sodium chloride and dextrose IV infusion,
renal failure or to assist removal of poisonous compound sodium chloride and glucose oral
substances from the body. powder or sodium chloride and dextrose tabs.
Dosage Adverse Effects
0.9% solution given orally or injected depending on Large excess may lead to diarrhoea.
patient requirements.
Should be used cautiously in patients with heart
failure, kidney problems, during pregnancy.
Injection by IV should be administered cautiously to
young children and elderly.
Adverse Effects
Rational Therapy Tips
No long term adverse effect. Solutions with high
content of sodium chloride are irritant to Q. When should one give injection as a
gastrointestinal lining and can cause treatment to a child?
nausea/diarrhoea. Ans:
Additional Information 1 When the child is unable to swallow.
2. Is vomiting persistently.
More dilute solutions containing dextrose/ glucose
are generally preferred. 3. Is hospitalised needing IV medication in
severe disease.
4. Immunisations.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 573

Sodium Thiosulphate Streptokinase (enzyme)
Use Brand Name
Treatment of cyanide poisoning. Embokinaze, Streptase
Given IV along with sodium nitrite. Use
* In treatment of certain types of skin disorders To dissolve clots formed in the heart and lungs and
caused by specific fungi. clots formed in other parts of the body; and during
kidney dialysis.
* Used as a footbathm at swimming pools to
prevent ringworm infections. Dosage
Dosage By intravenous infusion: Dosage deter mined
individually by the condition and response Usually
In cyanide poisoning: 10 ml of 3 % sodium nitrite in
1.5 million units over 1 hr by IV.
water for injection by IV over 3 minutes followed by
50 ml of sodium thiosulphate injecting 25 % Precaution
solution by IV over 10 minutes. Contra- Safety not Reduced
indicated established dose to be
Skin disorders: 20 % solution applied once or twice
daily. Contra-
Foothbath: 10 % solution used.
Over 60

* Apart from osmotic disturbances, it is relatively
* Patients with high BP
* Coagulation defects
* Large doses by mouth have a purgative action.
* Recent peptic ulcers
Adverse Effects
* Excessive bleeding
* Fever
* Rashes and allergic reactions to the enzyme
may be triggered.
Additional Information
Drug Interactions
* Interacts with antiblood coagulants and
antiplatelet drugs to increase the risk of bleeding
(platelets are disc-shaped structures in blood that
perform several functions related to blood clotting).

574 A Lay Person's Guide

Sulfacetamide Sulfadimidine
Brand Name Use
Nebasulf preps, Triple sulfa, Albucid Treatment of urinary tract infections.
Use Meningitis
As a sodium salt used mainly by local application Dosage
infections or injuries of the eye. Adults: 1-2 tablets four times daily.
Dosage Children upto 6 yrs. : half tablet 2 times daily.
For acute conjuctivitis / to prevent infections after burns etc: 6-12 yrs.: 1 tablet 2 times per day.
10% solution applied every 2 hours or 30% solution
applied twice daily. Note: One Tablet = 500 mg
Ointment containing 2.5, 6.0 or 10.0% are also used. Precaution
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
Safety not Safety not Safety not
established established established

Others Over 60

* Sulfacetamide sodium ointment should not be Others

applied to penetrating wounds of the cornea. * Liver damage
* Should not be used in individuals sensitive to * Kidney damage
Adverse Effects
Adverse Effects
* Nausea, vomiting
* Local application to eye may cause stinging but
not severe burning and does not necessitate * Blood disorders
discontinuance of treatment. * Rashes/reddening
* Allergic reactions may occur in patients sensitive * Kidney problems
to sulfonamides.
Additional Information
Additional Information
Patient Information
* Local anaesthetics that are esters of P-Amino
Benzoic Acid (PABA) may interfere with * Not to be taken if patient is allergic to
antibacterial action of sulfacetamide if used sulphonamides.
simultaneously. * Not to be taken with chemically related drugs like
* Sulphacetamide prescribed should be used even acetazolamide, oral antidia-betics or thiazide
if symptoms disappear earlier to prevent relapse diuretics.
of infection. * Large intake of water (1-2 litre/day) mandatory
* Stop medication if there is skin reaction or to avoid crystallisation of drugs and damage to
itching or burning sensation. kidneys.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 575

Tamoxifen Tetracaine
Brand Name Use
Mamofen, Nolvadex, Tamofen, Tamoxifen - Local anaesthetic
biochem, Tamoxifen-lyka
Use Dosage
Anticancer drug for treatment of breast cancer 1-2 drops of a 0.5% solution to conjuctiva
before and after menopause
Also used to treat certain types of infertility. Safety not Can Can
established continue continue
Dosage use of use of
medicine medicine
10-20 mg twice daily (20-40 mg/day). Do not crush
or break tablets before taking. Others
Precaution * Plasma cholinesterase (an enzyme) deficiency
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated
* Protect the eye from irritating chemicals.
Adverse Effects
Safety not Avoid Safety not
established established Burning, stinging, redness or other irritation of eye,
Over 60
blurred vision, convulsions, dizziness, nausea,
vomiting, drowsiness, irregular heart beat, tiredness,
Others muscle twitching.
* Do not stop drug suddenly without consulting
doctor Additional Information
* Decreased dose may be needed in liver damage. Patient Information
Adverse Effects Prolonged used may cause delay in corneal
* Hot flushes epithelial healing (top surface skin of cornea).
* Nausea
* Vaginal bleeding
* Irregular menstruation
* Visual disturbances
* Weight gain
* Increased risk of developing cancer of endo-
metrium (inner lining of the wall of uterus).
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Additional Information
Patient Information
* Useful for oestrogen hormone dependent
tumour of breast.
* Antacids could be taken at one to two hour
intervals before or after taking the drug to
decrease risk of adverse effects.

576 A Lay Person's Guide

Thiamine Trihexyl Phenidyl
Brand name (Benzhexol Hydrochloride)
Benalgis, Beneuron Brand Name
Use Hexidal, Hexinal, Neocalm + Forte, Pacitone,
Vitamin B1, mainly associated with metabolism of Trinicalm, Forte Plus
carbohydrates in the body to treat deficiency of B1 Use
(characterised by beriberi, fatigue, loss of appetite,
irregular heart beat and problems with nervous Anti-parkinsonism as well as drug-induced
system) Parkinsonism.
Dosage Dosage
Adults: Beriberi: 5-10mg thrice daily. Alcohol Adults: 1-2 mg on 1st day, increased by 2 mg at 3-4
i n d u c e d d e f i c i e n c y : 4 0 m g / d ay. D i e t a r y day interval till required and upto 6-10 mg per day.
supplement:1-2 mg/day. Genetic enzyme Children: Dose not established.
deficiency: 10-20 mg/day.
Dietary supplements
Can Contra- Contra-
continue indicated indicated
Infants: 0.3-0.5 mg/day, use of
Children: 0.5-1.0 mg/day
Contra- Contra- Avoid
Precaution indicated indicated

Can Can Can Over 60

continue continue continue
use of
use of
use of
Others * Narrow angle glaucoma
If given together always, administer thiamine prior * Peptic ulcer
to glucose * Myasthenia gravis
* Liver problems
* Intestinal problems
* Kidney problems
* Urinary problems
* Do not substitute for balanced diet or exceed
RDA Adverse Effects
Additional Information Skin rashes, psychoses, hallucinations, heavyness of
limbs, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, constipation
Dietary sources : Cereals, meats.
abdominal pain, blurred vision, urinary retention,
Recommended daily allowance (RDA)- muscular weakness, muscular cramping.
4-6 years: 0.9 mg
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Adult males: 1.4 mg
Decreased sweating, numbness of fingers.
Adult females: 1 mg
Pregnant women: 1.4 mg
Lactating women: 1.5 mg

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 577

Additional Information Valproic acid
Phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine), haloperidol, Brand Name
should not be given with the drug. Epilex, Valparin, Alkalets
Patient Information Use
If GI upset occurs may be taken with food. Causes Antiepileptic
drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision Used for all forms of epilepsy.
Discontinue and call the doctor immediately. Dosage
Use caution in hot weather, may increase Adults: 15-30 mg/kg/day in one or two divided
susceptibility to heat stroke. doses. Increase as required by 200 mg daily at twice
weekly intervals, to a max. of 2-5 gm daily.
Children: 15 mg/kg daily in divided doses and
increase as required.
Daily doses of 730 mg are required.
Infants: may require upto 40 mg/kg
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated

* Liver and pancreas problems
* Blood disorders
* Severe epilepsy
* Mental retardation
Adverse Effects
Rational Therapy Tips Loss of control, seizure, general uneasiness,
Q. What is the best way to administer oral weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting,
jaundice, water retention, liver function, weight
iron? gain, hair loss, tremor, drowsiness, lack of muscular
Ans: Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) increases the coordination.
iron absorption from intestines. Phytates Additional Information
in food (cereals), phosphates in milk and
avidin in raw egg decreases iron Drug Interactions
absorption. Hence oral iron should be * Phenobarbitone and phenytoin should not be
taken between the meals on an empty given with the drug.
stomach - preferably with Vitamin C. Patient Information
* Take with food.
* Do not chew tabs or capsules. Swallow whole to
avoid local irritation of mouth.

578 A Lay Person's Guide

Verapamil Hydrochloride Vinblastine
Brand Name Use
Calaptin, Harteze, Isoptin, Vasoptin, Veramil To treat abnormal cell growth in some kinds of
cancer and some non-cancerous conditions.
Anti-anginal (Calcium channel blocker)
Injected intravenously : 0.3 mg/kg per week.
Dosage varied depending on type of cancer and
Dosage condition of patient.
Adults: 120-480 mg daily in divided doses orally. IV Precaution
inj - 5-10 mg slow IV Avoid Contra-

Children: 2-4 mg/kg daily every 8 hrs. oral, 0.5 mg/kg

daily loading dose followed by 5 mcg/kg/min. Others
Precaution * If liver problems reduce dose by about 75%.
Contra- Contra- Reduced
indicated indicated dose to be
Adverse Effects
* Can affect normal cells too.
Contra- Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated indicated * Decrease in WBCs hence decreased resistance to
Over 60 infections.
Others * Damage to nervous systems.
* Heart problems * Inflammation at site of injection.
* Kidney problems * Reversible hair loss.

Adverse Effects Continue the drug and inform your doctor.

Additional Information
Congestive heart failure, hypotension, slow heart
beat, dizziness, weakness, headache, nausea, Patient Information
constipation, sleep disturbances, blurred vision, * In case of redness, pain or swelling at site of
diarrhoea, cramps, rashes, sweating, shortness of injection, inform doctor immediately.
breath, muscle cramps, joint pain, cardiac arrest.
* Even if nausea experienced, dose should be
Additional Information continued (alongwith other drugs to deal with
Propranolol (a beta blocker) and methyldopa nausea).
should not be given. * Inform doctor if suffering from chicken pox,
Dietary Effects gout, kidney stone or liver problems.
* Inform if medication for thyroid problem, gout
Calcium and Vitamin D reduce the absorption of
are being taken.
the drug. Should not be withdrawn abruptly.
* Inform doctor if chloramphenicol, flucytosine,
interferons are being taken.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 579

Vincristine Warfarin
Brand Name (Mainly as warfarin sodium)
Cytocristin, Neocristin, Vincristin, Biochem Brand Name
To treat abnormal cell growth in some kinds of
cancer and some non-cancerous conditions. Use
Dosage Anticoagulant.
Administered intravenously together with cortico Prevention and treatment of clot formation in
steroids or other drugs. blood vessels.
2 mg/m of body surface area weekly.

Effective when given orally, IV or IM.

Avoid Contra- Contra-
indicated indicated
Independent of age. Decided on basis of
prothrombin (a clotting factor) activity of the
Others blood.
* In case of redness, pain or swelling at side of
Initial dose: 30-50 mg per day Lower for the old/frail.
injection, seek immediate medical attention.
* Dosage reduced by 75% in case of liver Maintenance dose: 3-12 mg daily.
problems. Precaution
Adverse Effects Contra-
dose to be
Severe damage to nervous system and loss of
muscular functions.
Contra- Reduced
Abdominal pain and severe constipation decrease in indicated dose to be
white blood corpuscles (though less severe than Over 60

vinblastine) Others
Continue the drug and inform your doctor.
Even minor bumps/bruises may bleed excessively.
Additional Information
Contraindicated in :
Patient Information
* Adequate amount of fluid intake is very * Severe increase in BP
essential. * Severe to moderate problems of liver or kidney
* In case of severe constipation, laxatives may be * Bleeding tendencies
used after proper medical advice.
Adverse Effects
* Doctor should be informed if suffering from
chickenpox, gout, kidney stones, liver disease, Major risk: Loss of blood from almost any organ of
nerve or muscle disease. the body.
* Doctor should be informed if probencid and * When consumed orally during pregnancy, can
sulfinpyrazine are also being taken at the time of cause birth defects in the growing

580 A Lay Person's Guide

foetus or loss of blood from foetus. Zinc Oxide
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. Use
* In some patients receiving very high dose severe * Applied externally as a mild astringent (as an
skin problems may result. agent which causes contraction of tissues, arrests
Continue the drug and inform your doctor. secretion and controls bleeding) for the skin
Additional Information * As a soothing and protective application in
eczema (inflammation of skin)
Patient Information
* Use along- with other compounds to form some
* Therapeutic effect begins in 12 hours. Maximum dental cements
at 36-48 hrs and persists for 5-6 days.
* Zinc oxide and clove oil/eugenol used as a
* For immediate effect, heparin may be given as IV temporar y dental filling. Thus used in
injection to cover the initial 36 - 48 hours. preparations of medicated bandage, gauzes,
* A wide variety of drugs interact. ointments/creams, dusting powders, lotions and
dental cements.
* Consult doctor before consuming any drugs
* Inform doctor or dentist before any kind of
Drug Interactions
* Aspirin prolongs or intensifies its effects. Rational Therapy Tips
Q. Is it necessary to give Vitamin B-
complex with antibiotics?
Ans: No.

Short Profiles of 107 Drugs 581

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Source: Abhay Shukla and Anant Phadke. Swathya Sathi. Part 1, CEHAT, Pune, 2000.
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582 A Lay Person's Guide