Medication plays a major role in the treatment of a very wide range of conditions, as the first or only choice, or sometimes as an alternative to surgical interventions.

While there may be a very wide range of different conditions to be covered in this section, there are many general considerations about the optimal delivery of medication, appropriate timing and possible interactions with other medicinal drugs (or food and drink).

A very big topic here is the treatment of different types of pain. Other generally prominent areas for the application of medication are bacterial, viral and fungal infections and the treatment of inflammation caused by malfunction of the immune system. Finally, there are further, less common conditions that are best treated by medication, by medication alone or in combination with other treatments.

Treating head and neck cancers with chemotherapy does fall under the broad term ‘medication’. However, chemotherapy is rather different from other forms of medication and thus is discussed separately. The consequences of chemotherapy may require treatment with other/additional medication; this is discussed in the section dealing with detailed information about the clinical applications of chemotherapy.