Medication Therapy: Types

Medication therapy is a generic name for the most common method of treatment and prevention of diseases, based on the use of drugs of artificial or natural origin.

Medication therapy of strategically independent directions is considered to be:

  • replacement therapy (used for diseases caused by impaired production of important biologically active substances by the body, mainly hormones – for example, in diabetes mellitus);
  • etiotropic (causal) therapy (used to eliminate the immediate cause of the disease – for example, to suppress pathogens of infectious diseases);
  • symptomatic therapy (aimed at eliminating or reducing the severity of diseases’ symptoms – for example, pain, swelling, etc.);
  • pathogenetic therapy (aimed at normalizing the course of pathological processes underlying diseases) – for example, inflammatory, metabolic disorders, conduction of nerve impulses, preventive therapy (aimed at preventing, for example, infectious diseases, exacerbations of the course or occurrence of chronic diseases).

In practice, however, these areas are rarely implemented in their pure form – the elimination of painful symptoms influences the course of pathological processes to a greater or lesser extent. The replacement therapy is used for prophylactic purposes, and medication for prophylaxis suppresses the symptoms, etc.

It takes place due both to the multiple nature of the influence of drugs on organs, tissues, physiological systems, and to the strong interconnection of the main biological and physiological processes in the body. These are circumstances that allow you to influence the course of pathological processes in different ways and types of drugs.

The algorithm for making medical decisions about the use of certain drugs, in fact, is rarely based on strategic principles. A physician has to take into account a multitude of various factors and choose from a multitude of options for drug therapy those that provide a reasonable balance of therapeutic efficacy, tolerability and safety of drugs in each case.

Successful and safe use of medication therapy depends on the correctness and timeliness of diagnosis, the ability of the doctor to comprehensively assess the patient’s particularities (it is necessary to take into account the body state in a given period, gender, age, sensitivity to a particular drug and its individual tolerance, the presence of concomitant diseases and/or conditions, for example, pregnancy, the likelihood and danger of complications associated with taking drugs and their effect on the course of the pathological processes associated with the main therapy, and so on.).

In addition, an experienced specialist necessarily takes into account the possibility of changing the effects (intensity and focus) while simultaneously administering several drugs, using other medical procedures, the effect of the time of administration, dependence on the dietary regime, diet and many other circumstances, including the mental type of the patient.

The drug therapy may be corrected from time to time depending on the outcomes of the treatment.