Medication as poison?
Every medication is poisonous to an extent. Whether it has a therapeutic or toxic effect depends mostly on dosage but also on mode of administration, individual differences, age, gender, and the time of administration.
You shouldn’t become too attached to using medication. Remember the old saying - use as much as necessary and as little as possible.
In a way, poisoning is a chemical trauma that manifests itself as a bodily reaction towards a foreign chemical compound. Damage caused by a poisonous compound is called its toxigenic effect.
Toxic compounds can have very different chemical structures but they can be divided into following general categories:
- Mineral poisons, including inorganic salts, alkali, acids and some synthetic medication
- Poisons of bacterial or fungal origin, antibiotics, botulism toxins
- Poisons of herbal origin like alkaloids, glycosides and saponins
- Animal poisons like snake and bee venom, fish toxins
Medical science distinguishes between acute and chronic poisoning.
Acute poisoning is caused by accidents (wrong medicine, wrong dosage, wrong indication, esp. for the elderly and children) or intentional acts (suicide and murder). Chronic poisoning is usually caused by unnecessarily long treatment or misuse of pharmaceuticals and drug abuse.
Having sufficient knowledge on poisons and toxicity is necessary both in medicine and in everyday life, since the number having everyday contact with toxic substances is increasing constantly.