Answer to your Health Question


What are the consequences of medical drugs within the body?



Dear Martha,

Medical drugs have both desirable and undesirable consequences within the body.

Consider aspirin . One action of aspiring is to limit the production of certain prostaglandins.

Some prostaglandins help to produce fevers, some sensitize pain receptors, some cause contractions of the uterus, some stimulate digestive tract motility, some control nerve impulses, some regulate blood pressure, some promote blood clotting , and some cause inflammation .

By interfering with prostaglandin actions , aspirin reduces fever and inflammation, relieves pain , and slow blood clotting, among other things.

A person cannot use aspirin to produce one of its effects without producing all of its other effects.

Someone who is prone to strokes and heart attacks might take aspirin to prevent blood clotting, but it will also dull that person’s sense of pain.

Another person who takes aspirin only for pain will also experience slow blood clotting . The anticlotting effect might be dangerous if it cause abnormal bleeding.

A single two-tablet dose of aspirin doubles the bleeding time of wounds, an effect that last from four to seven hours. For this reason, physicians instruct clients to refrain from taking aspirin before surgery.


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