5 Risks Of Self-Medication
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There’s that migraine again. A hot cup of tea and an aspirin – that’s all you need to tide you through another bout. The little one’s running a temperature while on vacation – but we’ve packed a bottle of paracetamol and other essential medicines. Or how often do we rely on our friendly neighbourhood pharmacist to recommend a painkiller for a toothache?
In all these instances, we look for quick fixes, something that our bodies are not always conditioned to accept and remedy itself. What you do need, instead, is to treat the cause rather than the symptom. You’ve probably heard that a dozen times before, but here’s why it is good advice:
Increased Immunity Towards standard treatments
Given that most antibiotics are OTC (over-the-counter) drugs, popping them in at your discretion can make your system turn around and fight the drug rather than the ailment. The result? You could become immune to standard treatments, infections may persist, and even spread to others.
Addiction To OTC Medication
The term may sound severe when all you are doing is taking a pill, but don’t underestimate the power it can have over your will over a period of time. Painkillers, in particular, which are again available as OTC drugs, or you may even have an old prescription for it, are one of the most widely abused drugs world-wide; antacids, and medicines for cold and cough follow suit.
Fatal Medicine Concoctions
Treating one symptom by self-medication is one thing, but when you try to suppress multiple symptoms with a combination of drugs, it can have fatal results. Similarly, those under treatment for existing conditions like cardiac, thyroid or diabetic complaints also run the risk of unintentionally mixing medication that can never go together.
Allergic Reactions to Medicines
The friendly pharmacist recommends a new tablet that has stellar results, and all you want is a good night’s sleep amid the cough and cold. You take it home and pop it in as directed, only to break into rashes two hours later. A run to the emergency room reveals that you are allergic to a component in the drug that you’ve never taken before – a completely avoidable scenario if you take a physician’s advice for a good night’s sleep instead.
A Medical Condition that Stays Ignored
Finally, you could be ignoring a health condition that needs immediate medical attention. With every symptom that turns up, your body could be telling you something that only your physician can interpret effectively. So take time to hear it out, it’s only going to serve you better for it.