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3.1 Traditional medicines
3.2 Modern medicines
3.2.3Psychotherapeutic medicine
3.3 Drug abuse





Medicines are chemicals that help to cure infection

and maintain our health and well being. Medicines

can be obtained from natural sources or synthetic

chemicals. Any chemical that is used as medicine is

called a drug. Medicines that are obtained from

plants and animals are called traditional medicines.

Medicines can be classified as traditional medicines

and modern medicines.


• State examples of traditional medicines, their

sources and uses
• State the types of modern medicines and their
• State the functions of each type of modern
• Describe the possible side effects of using
modern and traditional medicines
• Decribe the correct usage of modern and
traditional medicines


1.1Traditional medicine
Traditional medicines are derived from plants or
animals. Traditional medicines are usually not
processed. Any medicinal plant containing
alkaloid is potentially toxic to the liver.
Traditional medicines can cause serious side
effects. More research on the toxic and adverse
effects of traditional medicines should be carried
out in order to ensure the safety of these
medicines to the public.
1.1.1Some common medicinal plants and
their function
1.1.2Animals that have medicinal

Traditional medicine Uses

Aloe vera (lidah buaya) To treat skin wounds

Centella asiatica To treat depression and

(pegaga) for longevity

Eurycoma longifolia To increse the male

(tongkat ali) libido

Orthosiphon aristatus To treat gout, diabetes

(misai kucing) and rheumatism

Andrographis To treat diarrrhoea,

paniculata (hempedu fever and diabetes


Ocimum basilicum To treat coughs, colds

(selasih) and bronchitis

1.1.3Animals that have medicinal


Medicinal animal Funtions

Sea cucumber (gamat) To treat Japanese

encephalitis and hole in

the heart

Centipede To treat lockjaw and


Ant To treat hepatitis B

Side effects of traditional medicines

1. It is generally believed that traditional medicines

have little side effects compared to modern medicines.

In fact, traditional medicines are sometimes used to

counteract the side effects of some modern medicines.

2. However, taking high doses of quinine for a

prolonged period may cause hearing loss. German

health officials recently reported 40 cases of liver

damage which were linked to the herbal medicine

containing kava-kava.

3. While the use of traditional medicine is rising

globally, health experts have insufficient data about

how it affects patients.

4. The World Health Organisation( WHO) hopes to set

up a global monitoring system to monitor the adverse

side effects of traditional medicines.

1.2Modern medicine
Before the 20th century, most medicines were
extracted from plants (herbal medicines). Since
1900. Thousands of modern drugs have been
synthesised from organic compound. Modern
medicines can be classified as follows based on
their effects on the human body. Some examples
of modern medicines are analgesics, antibiotics,
psychotherapeutic drugs. Modern drugs have a
trade name and a generic name. For example, the
analgesic aspirin (generic name) is sold under
different brand names such as Caprin and Disprin.
Similarly, paracetamol (generic name) is sold
under the trade name of Panadol. Modern
medicines usually contain a mixture of active
ingredients prepared in different forms, such as
capsules, pills, solutions or suspensions. For
example, Alka-Seltzer (used as an antacid)

contains sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), citric acid
and aspirin. It is the sodium bicarbonate then
neutralizes the excess stomach acid.Modern
medicines can be classified into a few categories
according to their effects on body:( a ) Analgesics
( b ) Antibiotics
( c ) Psychotherapeutic medicines

Analgesics is to relieve pain without
causing numbness or affecting
consciousness. Analgesics relive pain but
do not cure the disease. Example of
common analgesics are aspirin,
paracetamol and codeine.
Aspirinis used for relief, particularly
where there is inflammation involved,
such as arthritic pain and dental pain.
The active ingredient in aspirin is

acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin has the
following structural formula.

Side effects: Can cause bleeding in the

stomach because aspirin is vey acidic.
Can cause allergic reactions, skin rashes
and asthmatic attacks
Paracetamol have the following

structural formula.

Thus, unlike aspirin, paracetamol is

neutral in nature. Paracetamol is similar
to aspirin in its effects (that is, reduces
fever and relieves pain) but it does not

reduce inflammation. Paracetamol also
reduces or relieves flu symptoms such
as fever, bone aches and runny nose.
An overdose of paracetamol can cause
liver damage.
Codeine is an analgesic used in
headache tables and in cough
medicines. Most codeine is
synthesizedfrom morphine. Codeine
may cause drowsiness when it taken.
Abuse of this medicine may lead to
addition, depression and nausea.

Antibiotics are chemicals that destroy or
prevent the growth of infectious
microorganism. Two examples of
antibiotics are penicillin and streptomycin.
Antibiotics are used to treat diseases
caused by bacteria. Antibiotics are not
effective against diseases caused by viral
infections such as influenza, measles, or
small pox. Examples of antibiotics are
(a) Penicillin

Penicillin is derived from the mould Penicillium

notatum. Penicillin are used to treat diseases,

caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia,

gonorrhea and syphilis. Penicillin is only

effective on certain bacteria. For example, it

cannot be used to treat tuberculosis.


Streptomycin is an antibiotic produced by soil

bacteria of the genus Streptomyces. It is used

to treat tuberculosis, whooping cough and

some forms of pneumonia.

Both penicillin and streptomycin are broken

down by the acid in the stomach.
Therefore, these antibiotics are usually
given by injection and are not taken orally.
Patient take full course of the antibiotics
tomake sure that all the bacteria are killed.
Otherwise, he may become ill again and
the bacteria may become more resistant to
the antibiotic. The side effects of

antibiotics are headache, allergic reaction,
1.1.1psychotherapeutic medicine
Good metal health is fundamental and
essential to personal wellbeing and the
ability to lead a healthy, balanced and
productive life. People with mental illness
are not in control of their thoughts, feeling
and behaviours. These conditions can be
helped with the use of psychotherapeutic
Psychotherapeutic medicines are used to
alter abnormal thinking, feeling or
behaviours. These medicines do not cure
mental illness. However, they can reduce
many of the symptoms of mental illness
and help a person to get on with life.
Psychotherapeutic medicines are divided
into three categories based on the

symptoms for which they are primarily
used as shown below.

The example and side effects of some
psychotherapeutic medicines.

Example Side effects

Methylphenidate High dose or excessive use

, of stimulants over long

dextroampheta periods of time can lead to

mine, anxiety, hallucinations,

amphetamine severe depression, or

physical and psychological




Example Side effects

Tranquilisers Tranquilisers cause

drowsiness, poor


lightheadadness. Overdose of

these drugs can lead to

respiratory difficulties,

sleeplessness, coma and even


Barbiturates Barbiturates cause addition.

People who rely on

barbiturates to fight against

insomnia sometimes kill

themselves accidentally by

taking an overdose

(f) Antipsychotic

Example Side effects

Chlorpromazine Antisphychotic medicines

, haloperidol cause drowsiness, rapid

and clozapine heartbeat and dizziness.

3.3 Drug Abuse

Taking drugs excessively and without a doctor

prescription s called drug abuse. The use of

certain drugs like ecstacy causes depression

which can last for weeks after it s consumed. The

other examples of drug is ice causes stroke and

injuries to the liver and kidneys.

Any natural or artificially made chemical which is

used as a medicines is called drug. Without the

drug, a rug addict shoes withdrawal symptoms.

Common withdrawal symptoms include

nervousness, depression, stomach cramps, cold,

sweat, teary eyes, vomiting and diarrhea.

Abuse potential

Depending on the actual compound, drug abuse

may lead to health problems, social problems,

physical dependences or psychological addiction.

Some drugs that are subject to abuse have

central nervous system ( CNS ) effects, which

produce changes n mood, levels of awareness or

perceptions and sensations. Most of these drugs

also alter systems other than the CNS. But not all

the centrally acting drugs are subject to abuse,

which suggests that altering consciousness is not

sufficient for a drug to have abuse potential.

Among drugs that are abused, some appear to be

more likely to lead to uncontrolled use than

others suggesting a possible hierarchy of drug-

induced effects relative to abuse potential.

Approaches to managing drug

In addition to being a major public health

problem, some consider drug abuse to be a social

problem with far-reaching implications. Stress,

poverty, domestics and societal violence and

various diseases ( i.e. , injecting drug users as a

source for HIV/AIDS ) are sometimes thought to

be spread by drug use. Studies have also shown

that individuals dependent on illicit drugs

experience higher rates of comorbid psychiatric


4.0 Discussion

Differences between traditional medicines and modern


Traditional medicines Modern medicines

-they are usually not processed -they are usually processed in


-they are derived from plant or -they are synthesized based on

animals substances found in nature

Correct ways of using medicines

In taking any medicine, we should know why the medicine is prescribed, how

the medicine should be used, what special precautions should be followed,

what special diet should be followed, what are the side effects, and what

storage conditions are needed. In addition, we should note the following

points :

1. Self-medication

Do not prescribe medicines for yourself (self-medication) or for other

people. Discuss with your doctor and listen to him concerning the

medicine to be taken.

2. Follow the instructions given

Follow the instructions given by your doctor or pharmacist concerning

the dosage and method of taking the medicine.

3. Medicines for adult and children

Medicines for adult should not be given to children and vice versa.

4. Side effects

Visit the doctor immediately if there are symptoms of allergy or other

effects of the drugs.

5. Expiry date

Like foods, medicines also have expiry date. Do not take medicines

after their expiry dates.

Modern Medicine



• Aspirin
• Paraceta
• Codeine

Drug abuse

5.0 Conclusion

A medicine is used to prevent or cure diseases or to

relieve pain. Medicines can be classified as traditional

medicines and modern medicines. Traditional medicines

are medicines which are obtained from natural sources

without being processed chemically. Traditional medicines

also refers to health practices, approaches, knowledge and

beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral based

medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and

exercises, applied singularly or in combination to treat,

diagnose and prevent illnesses or maintain well-being.

Since the olden days, man has used plants, animals and

minerals to treat diseases. The traditional medicines

include ginger, aloe vera, mint leaves, garlic, lemon grass,

quinine and cocoa.

Modern medicines are produced chemically and often

involve drugs. Modern medicines are produced in the form

of pills, capsules, emulsion, paste and solution. Modern

medicines include analgesics, antibiotics,

psychoterapeutic drugs, hormones and steroids.

Analgesics are medicines that relieve pain by acting on

receptors on the nerve cells of the spinal cord or brain.

Examples of analgesics include aspirin, paracetamol and

codeine. Antibiotics are obtained from mold or other

microorganisms. It used to treat infection due to bacteria.

Examples of antibiotics include penicillin and


Psychotherapeutic drugs are used to treat psychiatric

patients by altering the emotions as well as the behaviour

and thoughts of the patient. Therefore, this category of

medicine should not consumed indiscriminately and

without prescription from the doctor. Psychotherapeutic

drugs can be categorized into stimulants, antidepressants

and antipsychotic drugs. Stimulants are used to enhance

or stimulate the mental activity, emotions as well as the

activity of the body of the patients. Examples of

stimulants are amphetamine and caffeine.

Antidepressants are used to control depression, grim

feelings, worry, anxiety and panic in patients. Some

examples of antidepressants in the market today are

tranquilizers and barbiturates. Antipsychotic drugs are

used to treat symptoms of a type of psychotic illness or

mental disorder known as schizophrenia. Common

antipsychotic medicines are chlorpromazine, haloperidol

and clozapine.

Besides this, taking drugs excessively and without a

doctor’s prescription is called drug abuse. The use of

certain drugs like ecstasy and ice produce harmful side

effects. In addition, some types of medicines may cause

harmful side effects if being misused without a doctor’s

instructions. The harmful side effects posed by medicines

should be seriously attended to and the doctor’s advice

and instructions should be strictly followed.

6.0 References

1 ) Lim Eng Wah, Low Swee Neo, Lim Yean Ching, Eng

Nguan Hong and Umi Kaithom Binti Ahmad, 2006.

Chemistry Form 5. Runz Creative Sdn. Bhd.

2 ) Vijaya Viswanathan B.Sc. , Catherine Lee B.Sc.Ed.

( Hons. ), 2007. New Vision Chemistry SPM. Marshall

Cavendish ( Malaysia ) Sdn. Bhd.

3 ) Jess Tan Bsc ( Hons ) Ed, MED : COMPLETE Text & Guide


4 ) Traditional medicine,

Modern medicine,

5 ) Lim Eng Wah, Low Swee Neo, Lim Yean Ching, Eng

Nguan Hong, 2007. Penerbitan Pelangi Sdn. Bhd.