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How much do you know about the medicines you are taking?

Dr Ian Larson of Monash University talks about the free online course, ‘The Science of Medicines’ which starts on 1 September 2014 on FutureLearn.com.

The Science of Medicines

Many of us take medicine regularly or know someone who does. Elderly people can quite often be on 5, 6, 7 or more tablets, some taken once a day, some twice.  If we want to get the most benefit from the medicines we take, we need to take them as instructed and it helps to understand why.

How does a medicine stop pain? Do you know why some tablets need to be taken twice a day and some only once a day?  Why do some medicines have side effects?  In this course, my team and I delve into the answers to these questions and explain them in language that everyone will be able to understand. We will explain the chemistry of the drugs and how they were developed, the biology of our body and what the drug actually does to it, how the form of the medicine itself is designed with all this in mind, and how pharmacists, doctors, allied health professionals, and family and carers work together to assist people with the management of their medicines.

To answer every question, however, would take far longer than this course runs for, so we have decided to concentrate on five of most important health issues around: heart disease, diabetes, pain, smoking, and depression.

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