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Possible Environmental Side Effects of Pills

by Eliott Norman

When it comes to drugs, the primary concerns are effectiveness and tolerability. Environmental protection and sustainability can thus conflict.

Drugs and their effect on the environment

Drugs are important. However, high and sometimes uncritical consumption leads to harmful and often difficult-to-degrade residues getting into the environment. The problem is likely to worsen in the future as drug consumption increases.

Contrary to what might be expected, there are fewer incorrectly disposed of medicines that cause environmental pollution. Rather, a problem is that medicinal substances only remain in the human or animal organism to a small extent. A large part is excreted unchanged or in the form of metabolites. This is even partly intentional.

Drugs with good “persistence”, which means that they last a long time even under adverse circumstances, appear desirable from a therapeutic point of view. The aim is to have active ingredients that are as stable as possible, which are not broken down prematurely in the body, and which reach the site where their effect is desired in an effective form.

Thus, when you buy kamagra (kamagra kaufen), check the ingredients and also how long they will last.


Bottlenecks in sewage treatment plants

Sewage treatment plants can only filter medicines out of the water to a limited extent. Many active substances are water-soluble or are excreted in water-soluble form through metabolism. They escape the usual three-stage cleaning, namely mechanical, biological and chemical cleaning. So far, the systems have not been designed to break down or remove complex drug molecules. Accordingly, the active ingredient residues in the effluent of sewage treatment plants are particularly high. The contaminants also reach agricultural soils directly via sewage sludge and thus potentially also enter the food cycle.

Ecological consequences unclear

In laboratory tests, environmental conditions and exposure can be precisely controlled and a correlation with observed effects can be recorded. Scientists then extrapolate to estimate the risk that substances could pose to animal organisms in the real environment.

Health promotion and prevention

Ultimately, every single patient and consumer can contribute to more protection of the environment and drinking water. For many diseases, there are effective prevention methods such as vaccinations or participation in preventive medical check-ups. If diseases do not develop in the first place or are detected early, the need for drugs, which can sometimes be taken for life, decreases.