Self Medication – Helpful or Harmful?

hand, full, pills

Life teaches us not to repeat our mistakes. Self medication is one such blunder. With over the counter drugs readily available, it is rather easy for us to procure most medicines. We do it to save time and money, more than anything else.

 

Thanks to the internet and increasing public awareness, self medication has become frighteningly common these days. While you casually pop pills like paracetamol, voveran, cetrizine, etc, you are actually putting a lot at stake. Here is why:

 

1.Lack of diagnosis: not visiting a doctor means the underlying cause of your symptoms has not been diagnosed, making your ignorance quite scary.

 

2. Masking of symptoms: taking crocin, pain killers and anti-allergics often help alleviate the symptoms, thereby masking the true nature of the ailment. Failure to see a doctor or not mentioning about your self medication may often lead to missing out on vital information.

 

3. Dosage: How much of the medicine to take depends on a lot of factors like age, sex, weight and severity of the case. Things which a lay man is unaware of, hence risking overdosing. There are also instances where people consume antibiotics when not needed or bombard themselves with drugs for borderline cases, thereby risking development of systemic ailments or even drug resistance.

 

4. Contraindications and side effects: All drugs have some contraindications and side effects. Certain medicines are not to be taken during pregnancy, periods, etc which you might not be knowing. Similarly there are a lot many medicines that don’t go along with your routine treatment for diabetes, hypertension and thyroid abnormalities. 

 

While the internet gives you a wealth of information, it rarely gives you the complete information. Hence it is always wise to see a medical professional before you decide to take any drugs.

 

 

Author: Dr. Abhishek Chaudhuri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *