1. Prescription Medications: These drugs must be obtained with a valid doctor’s prescription to be purchased and can only be obtained under strict government regulation to ensure safety and efficacy.
  2. Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications: OTC medications can be purchased without a valid prescription and used to treat minor conditions like headaches, colds and allergies.
  3. Generic Medications: Generic medicines contain the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts but are much cheaper due to not being sold under an identifiable brand name.
  4. Brand-Name Medications: Brand-name medications are drugs marketed under specific brand names by pharmaceutical companies, often more costly than generic equivalents and prescribed for various reasons by physicians and patients alike. They may be preferred by certain patients or specified to meet the needs of specific patient populations.
  5. Illegal Drugs: Substances prohibited by law due to their potential for abuse or harm include cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
  6. Recreational Drugs: Substances used purely for their psychoactive effects and used for recreational rather than medical use are known as recreational drugs, such as marijuana, Ecstasy or LSD.
  7. Prescription Drug Abuse: This refers to the misuse or overuse of prescription medications for non-medical reasons such as getting high or relieving stress.
  8. Drug Interactions: These interactions occur when one drug interferes with another drug when taken together, potentially leading to harmful side effects and should be taken into consideration when taking multiple medications at once.
  9. Side Effects: Unintended reactions caused by medications can range from mild to severe; therefore, patients must be aware of potential side effects and report them immediately to their healthcare providers.
  10. Drug Addiction: Relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use despite harmful consequences and is considered a brain disorder. Treatment typically combines medication, therapy and support services.

Always consult a health professional when using medications responsibly to ensure safety and effectiveness.