The world self-medication Industry (WSMI) and the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) define self-medication as the use of non-prescription medicines by people on their own violation. It is also an act of taking drugs without seeking the advice of a medical practitioner. Self-medication can also mean a person taking more or less than the prescribed or recommended dose of a particular drug. Over dosage can or may damage liver, kidneys and other organs in the body. Individuals who acts as his/her own physician do that in an effort to tackle a symptom of a physical or mental health problem. Most individuals decide to self-medicate in an attempt to resolve some health issues without incurring the cost of seeing a medical practitioner and the stress they will undergo in the process. A lot of people consult a local chemist whenever they fall sick or may consult a neighbour or friend who may have some Panadol which is the most common and often use drugs to treat minor symptoms.
The dangers associated with self-medication can be very severe since the individual may use medicines that are inappropriate for the health challenge at hand and without proper diagnosis from a doctor. Even though there is a possibility that the self-prescribed medicament can prevent the situation from being worse, but it is always important to seek for medical advice if symptoms persist after a few days.
Depending on the situation at, the risk associated with a medication can vary. However, there are some risks that are very common which include;
An individual using inappropriate medication that can cause side effects
Taking self-medication can cover the symptoms of a serious condition and can lead to delay in seeking medical advice.
Taking inaccurate dosage that can result to over-dose and adverse reaction
Taking self-medication can result or lead to addiction
There is the possibility of an individual taking an expired drug without knowing
Self-medication can lead to untimely death.
Taking over dose or mixing wrong drugs together can lead to a massive drop in blood pressure which may trigger heart attack.
Misuse or too much intake of antibiotics when you do not have bacterial infection or illness can destroy the ability of antibiotics to fight bacterial infection in the body. If your body cannot fight bacteria, the will multiply and become resistant to medications which can result to serious health complications.
Self-medication can lead to financial losses.
Paracetamol, antipyretic and analgesic when taken in large doses can result to liver failure.
To reduce the drastic effects of self-medication, pharmacists should play a great role in providing people with accurate assistance and information about medicines that are available for self-medication to ensure the safety, and reduce the risks associated with self-medication.
Remember to always keep all medicine out of the reach of children.
By Mercy Kukah