Self Medication: Are We Sitting On A Time Bomb?


tadalafil geneva;”>On further inquiry by the pharmacy staff it is discovered that he is just getting the medicine for what he calls “first aid box “at home and that he uses the drugs to treat members of his family when need arises. This is a scenario at most of the drug stores in our country and most of us are doing it , but have you ever thought about the consequences of this self-medication.

Self medication is when an individual uses drugs not prescribed by qualified physicians to treat untreated and often undiagnosed medical ailments.

Most times the drugs are used to treat self-diagnosed disorders or symptoms and in some cases there is continued use of a prescribed drug for chronic or recurrent disease or symptoms after the end of treatment without medical review by a physician.

Self-medication, even for minor ailments, could lead to medical complications. For example, excessive use of vitamins which many people consider harmless may lead to vitamin poisoning.

A large number of potent drugs such as pain relievers ,cough remedies, anti-allergies, laxatives, antibiotics, antacids and vitamins are sold over-the-counter (OTC) that is they can be obtained from the pharmacies and drug shops without a medical prescription.

Thus swallowing a pain killer like paracetamol for some unexplained headache may be catastrophic if done without medical advice as it may mask a problem bigger than the headache itself.

The dangers of self-medication are real and are but not limited to the following.

A minor health issue which could be resolved easily with the doctor’s advice may become a major problem over time. Symptoms may subside temporarily with self-medication, but it would become difficult for a doctor to correctly diagnose and treat later.

You could become addicted to prescription drugs such as antacids, cough syrups and pain relievers.

Some antibiotics such as penicillin or sulpha drugs can cause severe reactions in the body for some people. These could lead to death.

Incorrect dosage of medicines will not cure and will prolong recovery. On the other hand, over-dosage may damage the liver, kidneys and other organs.

Indiscriminate use of antibiotics could, over a long time, lead to antimicrobial resistance. Consequently, the antibiotic may become ineffective when taken in the future.

Some herbal drugs and medicines may interact with convectional medicines and adversely affect the body.

Self-medication by pregnant women could adversely affect the unborn child causing congenital anomalies and birth defects.

Unlike other forms of selfcare, self-medication involves the intake of drugs, which have the potential to be beneficial or harmful. Their improper use can have serious health implications, especially among children, the aged, and in people with special physiological conditions such as pregnancy and lactation.

Thus the government and health authorities must ensure that only safe drugs are made available without prescriptions There should be a strict rule to stop pharmacies and drug shops from selling prescription only medicines without out a valid prescription from a registered physician.

Consumers should be given adequate information about drug use and the consumer must also ensure that before taking any drugs advice must be thought from the qualified medical practitioners.


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