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Do Not Do-It-Yourself

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.

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Comments

Shabir Ahmad bhat   |   19, Feb 2017

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