A recent publication released by the WHO states that with the continued
improvement in people's education, general knowledge and socio-economic
status, self-medication has been successfully integrated into many
health care systems throughout the world.
For all those who often pop pills without consulting a doctor, self
medication could lead to many medical complications. Though it is often
easier to avoid the cost and hassle of visiting a doctor, the overlooked
dangers of OTC drugs also come with a heavy price tag.
The dangers of self medication are:
- Got a headache? Will pop an analgesic. Fever too? An antipyretic will do.
Sore throat? Oh, an antibiotic too. It’s not unusual to use paracetamol for
a backache or a simple headache. Although judicious use of these pain
killers is not a bad idea, very often people overdo it and pop in several
pills for minor ailments. Most of them belong to a class of drugs called
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDS], which suppress our body’s
reaction of fever and pain. These NSAIDs could cause ulcers and bleeding in
the stomach and lead to long-term kidney problems.
- Taking antibiotics for wrong reasons, such as against colds and flu, will
not help you feel better faster, rather may cause side-effects. Taking
antibiotics against a cold or the flu has no benefit: antibiotics simply do
not work against viral infections. In addition, antibiotics may cause
several unpleasant side effects such as diarrhoea, nausea or skin rashes.
Taking antibiotics to fight mild bacterial infections, such as running
nose, sore throats, or earaches, is often unnecessary since, in most cases,
your own immune system is able to deal with such mild infections.
- Self medication could lead to misdiagnosis or under-diagnosis of a
Misdiagnosing the illness:
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.health issue, which could be
solved easily by a timely and appropriate consultation with a doctor.
Trying to medicate your issues with alcohol or drugs may work in the
short run, but you might be setting yourself up for an even worse
problem. It is always best to discuss your symptoms and physical
ailments with a trained medical professional. Getting a proper
diagnosis and a treatment plan is the best way to avoid any
complications or health risks.