My 2 1 2 Year Old Has A Bad Cough Dangers Of Self-Medication

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Dangers Of Self-Medication

Taking pills has become common practice these days. The stressful conditions we live in, the competition at work or in business, the struggle to keep up with the Joneses, have taken their toll on human health. About 50% of the population suffers from headaches several times a month. Dyspepsia, heartburn and stomach ulcers are other common complaints. With depression, insomnia, allergies and various other problems on the rise, pharmaceutical companies are flooding the market with new drugs. There are even pills to overcome laziness or shyness. Brilliant advertising and aggressive marketing have turned us into a generation of pill poppers.

Self-medication is the use of medicines without a doctor’s advice. Medicines can be recommended by a family member, friend or pharmacist.

Reasons for self-medication:

• Lack of time to see the doctor. Inability to request an appointment quickly. The plethora of unnecessary tests ordered for a simple disease is both costly and time-consuming.

• The illness may be too mild to seek medical attention.

• A similar complaint may have been successfully treated with a previous prescription. So the medication is repeated.

• Too much information from the internet or magazines makes people confident in managing their own disease.

• Lack of a doctor nearby. Maybe the hospital or clinic is far away.

• Poverty. The medical fee may be unaffordable.

• Easy availability of over-the-counter medicines.

• Home remedies that have been used with success in the family.

• The elderly are suspicious of allopathic medicines. So, in developing countries, alternative medicine is commonly used.

Self-medication has many dangers

1. Habit. Many people become addicted to prescription drugs such as cough syrups, allergy medications, antacids, pain relievers, or tonics. Newspapers often report on Hollywood actors checking into rehab for addiction to prescription drugs.

2. Allergic reactions that can be severe or even fatal. Antibiotics such as penicillin or sulfa drugs can cause very serious reactions.

3. Irrational drug combinations are available in the market. Some of them can be dangerous, especially when taken with alcohol or other drugs. Even dietary supplements and tonics can be harmful at times.

4. Underdosing does not necessarily cure the symptom. Overdose can cause collateral damage to the heart, kidneys or other organs. Improper dosing or indiscriminate use of antibiotics for an inappropriate period of time can lead to resistance or sudden allergic reactions. As a result, if an antibiotic is needed, it may be ineffective.

5. Even an overdose of vitamins can be harmful, especially fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K.

6. Cheap and inappropriate medicines are of no use.

7. Dependence on psychotropic drugs such as LSD, ketamine, cocaine, and marijuana is on the rise.

8. A symptom such as headache or nausea can occur in many medical conditions. By temporarily masking the symptom, it will be difficult for the doctor to make a correct diagnosis.

The most commonly used drugs are pain relievers. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as brufen or ibuprofen, increase the risk of stroke fourfold in people with high blood pressure. They also cause stomach problems. COX2 inhibitors affect the heart. Paracetamol, aspirin, allergy pills, anabolic steroids – any of these can cause health-damaging side effects.

How to avoid self-medication:

Sir William Osler said: “One of the first duties of a physician is to educate the masses when not to take medicines.”

The most important thing is to educate the general public about the dangers of self-medication. Health lectures can be given in schools or colleges, or even from the bottom up, through lectures, slide shows or videos. All drugs should be considered potentially dangerous if taken indiscriminately. Medication should be taken on the advice of a doctor or qualified healthcare professional.

Adequate drug control is very important. Medicines should not be dispensed without a prescription. Shops selling medicines must keep proper records of dangerous drugs. Drug inspectors need to be more vigilant in checking these pharmacies. Many patients trust the pharmacist who recommends medicine for their illness. Sometimes the antibiotic is only given for a day or two. Over-the-counter medications should be limited.

The lax implementation of drug control is the reason why pharmacists are free to prescribe as they please. People’s drug sensitivities vary greatly. One person’s dose may be too much for the next, resulting in toxic reactions.

Doctors should also be aware of the properties of the drugs they prescribe. There are patients who require antibiotics for the slightest ailment, such as a cold. They should be discouraged. When prescribing antibiotics, they must insist that the patient take the full course. They should also draw attention to the dangers of mixing drugs.

Self-medication is dangerous. Only the ignorant and the thoughtless submit themselves to medication for every minor complaint. Pregnant women should be doubly warned as it can have a harmful effect on the unborn child.

The next time you feel like popping a pill, stop and think!

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