Most of us resort to popping pills for common symptoms like a headache, a sore throat or a cold. Although taking over the counter medicines like paracetamol for common ailments is okay once in a while. But self-medication is not an alternative to thorough clinical evaluation and medical advice by a doctor. Self-medication, even for minor health issues, could lead to serious complications. Medicines like painkillers, antibiotics, multivitamins are taken by people without consulting a doctor.This can be harmful in the long run.
Here are the dangers associated with self-medication:
1 . Taking The Wrong Medicine
Sometimes you make think you have one health problem and take medicine for it, when in reality you suffer from some other health condition. This leads to misdiagnosing the illness and taking the wrong medicine.
2 . Risk of Dependence
Certain medicines are habit forming and need to be taken under medical supervision. If you self-medicate, you could become addicted to prescription drugs such as sleep medications, cough syrups and pain killers.
3 . Allergic Reactions
Antibiotics like penicillin or sulpha drugs can cause severe allergic reactions in the body in some people. Many of these reactions could be life threatening. A doctor thoroughly evaluates your medical and family history before prescribing such medicines.
4 . Incorrect Dosage
Incorrect dosage of medicines will not treat your health problem and will prolong recovery. On the other hand, over-dosage may damage liver, kidneys and other organs.
5 . Risk of Antibiotic Resistance
Taking antibiotics when they are not required leads to antibiotic resistance. This means that the antibiotic is no longer effective against the bacteria that it was manufactured for. Antibiotics should not be taken for a common cold since it is a viral infection and antibiotics are not needed.
6 . Drug-Drug Interactions
There are some medicines that should not be taken at the same time as they can lead to undesirable drug-drug interactions . If you self-medicate, you would not be aware of these interactions and this can adversely affect your health.
Self-medication is dangerous. It can cause serious problems, so it is important to set up an appointment with a doctor when any symptoms of an illness occur.