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Chemistry in Everyday Life


Medicines play an important role in maintaining the health of a human being by treating various kinds of diseases. Medicines prove useful when taken as per the advice of a certified doctor. Without prescription, taking medicines can prove harmful as they have numerous side effects too. So, to avoid the side effects of medicines one should always consult a doctor before taking them.

Do you know?

The word “medicine” is derived from the Latin words “ars medicina”, meaning “the art of healing”. Nowadays, medicines have become a necessity for maintaining health. They are used for various purposes such as treatment and prevention of disease, removal of infections, increased healing of injuries, etc.

Nowadays, various kinds of medicines are available in the market. Every medicine has its specified action on the body. For example, if a person has fever, he will take such a medicine which is antipyretic in nature or if someone is suffering from acidity, he will take an antacid. Taking antacid in feverish condition will not improve the condition of the person.

As discussed above, medicines are of different types and they are classified on the basis of their clinical action.

On the basis of clinical action, medicines are classified in the following categories:

(a) Analgesics: Analgesics are the class of drugs which help in relieving pain. For example: Aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.

(b) Antipyretics: They belong to that class of medicines which help in lowering the body temperature. They are usually taken when a person is suffering from fever.

For example: paracetamol, combiflam, etc.

(c) Antiseptics:  Those medicines which are used to control germs or kill them without posing any threat to the body cells come under the class of antiseptics.

For example: Dettol, savlon, etc.

(d) Antacids: Whenever the amount of acid is increases in the body, doctors advise to take antacids as they are the mild bases and help in neutralizing excess of acid in the body.

For example: Milk of magnesia, ENO, etc.

(e) Antibiotics: This class of drug is produced by microorganisms and help to retard the growth of or kill the other microorganisms.

For example: penicillin, tetracycline, etc.

Do you know?

The first antibiotic made by scientists is Penicillin. It was created accidently by Dr. Alexander Fleming. One day, he noticed a mould growing on the culture plate of bacteria. Around that mould, the colonies of other bacteria that surrounded it had been destroyed. Although the species of mould was not known at that time, he observed that it was inhibiting the bacterial growth. He then published a paper on it and rest is the history.


Dr. Alexander Fleming

Medicines prove beneficial in maintaining the health of the human being. But sometimes due to negligence, they prove fatal. There are various unhealthy practices that usually people do and that leads to serious danger. These are:

(i) Many people take medicine without taking the advice of doctor and end up having side effects like allergies caused by medicines.

(ii) Sometimes people take medicines whose expiry date has reached. Such medicines do more harm than good to a person.

(iii) Sometimes people do not complete the course of antibiotics.

(iv) Due to underuse, overuse and misuse of medicines, various kinds of problems occur.

(v) Most of the times, people fail to use medicines according to the prescription and instructions given by the doctor. This can create various other troubles with respect to a person’s health.

Activity time

Activity: (i) To prepare solution A, B and C, follow the following steps:

Solution A:  To prepare 2% glucose solution, take 2 g glucose and mix it in 100 mL water.

Solution B: Take 25 mL of the above solution and add 25 mL water into it. In this way you will get 1% glucose solution.

Solution C: Again, take 25 mL of the above solution and add 25 mL water to get the 0.5 % glucose solution.

(ii) Now take three test tubes and add 5 mL of Benedict's solution in each test tube and label them as A, B and C.

(iii) Add 10 drops of glucose solution A in test tube A. Repeat the same process for test tubes B and C.



(iv) Heat each test tube. What do you observe?

Observation: Brownish orange coloured solution is obtained. The intensity of the colour is the maximum in case of solution A and it is the minimum in case of solution C.

Conclusion: The intensity of the colour decreases with the decrease in the concentration of the glucose in the solution.

This test is basically a clinical test which is used for the diagnosis of diabetes by detecting glucose in urine.


Medicines play an important role in maintaining the health of a human being by treating various kinds of diseases. Medicines prove useful when taken as per the advice…

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