How Self Medication Can Be Dangerous?


How Self Medication Can Be Dangerous?

The problem with self diagnosis is that not all of us are doctors, and by that I mean we have no means of figuring out what is actually wrong with us, until we get an expert opinion. Binge watching House M.D, or E.R does not make you an expert on human illnesses, so quit behaving like it does. Simple ailments like cough, cold, fever, constipation etc. will have in influx of various self medication opinions from your friends, colleagues and even complete strangers some times. Do not take their advice, unless they are real doctors.

How self medication can be dangerous

Although most drugs are not sold without a prescription, even seemingly harmless drugs to treat cold, fever, headaches etc can be harmful to the patient if taken wrong. It is hence always advised to consult a doctor before popping any pills. Here are a few reasons as to why you shouldn’t trust yourself with self medication-

Illness or symptom?

Self medicating, without an actual prognosis can actually do more harm than good. Sometimes a simple illness might be a symptom of something worse, and trying to treat it with everyday pills might suppress the symptoms and lead to complications in the long run. In this case, you are trying to treat a major underlying condition with a seemingly milder illness, which is actually a symptom. Doctors are trained to look for clues to figure out if the medical condition is what it seems to be, and running proper tests will help identify the actual problem, and treat accordingly. Self medication does not provide such luxury.

woman with stomach pain

Addictions and other complications

It is not uncommon for people to develop a dependence on easily available medications such as pain killers, cough syrups, antacids etc these over the counter drugs are not monitored, and anyone can get their hands on them easily.

When self medicating people usually take the wrong dosage- too small a dose and the recovery becomes delayed (and prolonged usage of these drugs might lead to addictions), and a high dose can cause further complications such as liver/ kidney damage. With the wrong dosage the body might develop a resistance to antibiotics, rendering them useless in future.

Allergic reactions

Some antibiotics, such as penicillin can cause allergic reactions in some people, and must be administered by a certified physician after the patient undergoes suitable tests. These allergic reactions can also be caused when a particular drug interacts with a previously undiagnosed symptom, or infection, which can worsen your situation.

Drug interactions

Taking multiple drugs at a time, in hopes of curing faster or for different illnesses can lead to dangerous interactions among them, and severely affect the body. Drugs of different domains, such as ayurvedic, homeopathy, allopathic can interact with each other, and is generally advised not to combine different forms of medications when treating for an illness. This is very important to keep in mind if you take regular medications for ailments such as BP or heart problems. Even interactions with simple pain killers can lead to fatal ailments such as stroke.

            Remember, self medication is potentially harmful. Even if a particular (prescribed) drug worked once, it does not mean that it is ok for you to consume it if the illness returns. Always consult a doctor to get a proper check up done and take prescribed medicines in the right dosage.

Stay away from self medication!

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