Many people resort to self medicating themselves for reasons unknown. Are people too lazy to go to the physician or just believe they have got the right knowledge of medicines? On a more serious note, it can lead to unwanted and sometimes even fatal consequences. A report by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) had revealed in 2008 that even children are vulnerable to indulging in self medication just for the sake of trying something new. It is not rare to see adults buying themselves medicines without consulting the doctor. Why is it dangerous? Well that's because you're not a doctor and you lack accurate knowledge about medicines! The potential hazards have been explained below...
Why is Self Medication Dangerous?
You have a cough and cold, or a headache, diarrhea or acidity. What do you do? To avoid a trip to the doctor you refer to the old prescription or take the medication which your friend had 'confidently' recommended to you. Sounds familiar? Yes we all have got this tendency, and for minor problems we tend to take the medicines we already have at home or those that were recommended in the past for the same problems. But stop this habit now. You might be serving an invitation to hordes of other ailments and problems through these medicines. Some people are so unaware that they don't even check the expiry date before gulping down the pill.
The various harms have been discussed further in the article.
- A common instance of self medication is for insomnia, an acute and common problem. You feel sleep deprived, go to the closet or the drawer and pull out a strip to pop those sleep pills. Did you take an effort to consult a doctor for the problem? No. The pills can actually worsen your sleep problems. No doctor would recommend you the dosage of sleep pills, and using the pills long term can lead to dependency on them. So consult your physician for the problem and be on the safer side.
- Popping the pills when you are unsure of their validity can lead to side effects depending on the medicine's suitability for you. There have been many cases where a person has taken medicine by himself and ended up with problems like skin irritation, red marks on the skin or high fever. This is because the body mechanism of each person is different and so one medicine which is suitable on a person may not be suitable for another. This is where the role of the doctor counts.
- It is seen more for common health worries; you may take a medicine as you feel soreness in your throat. But there might be another medicine that can help you recover fast from the problem. Thus you waste your money and also delay your recovery.
- People suffering from anxiety and depression are more prone to taking drugs that have a soothing effect on them. Even teens are falling susceptible to the use of drugs that are dangerous. This observation is alarming because it leads to addiction and you all know what effects drugs and alcohol have on the body.
- Potential dangers can also result from using wrong creams and lotions without the consultation of the doctor. The creams and lotions come loaded with harmful chemicals that can harm the skin if it is sensitive or unsuitable to that particular ointment.
Avoid Medicating Yourself - Lead a Healthy Life!
You never know how damaging a medicine could be! This is not an exaggeration but as far as your health is concerned there should be no compromise. For a healthy life free from avoidable complications consult the doctor before taking a pill if you are not sure about its effectiveness for the problem. Don't feel shy to take the consultation of a doctor for minor problems; you will help keep yourself away from problems. Also, protect your children from self medicating themselves. Keep the medicine box away from the reach of children and make them aware of the dangers.
There are no specific dangers and it all depends on the medicine and its suitability on you. While using any home remedies too, especially the use of face packs, and homemade ointments, you should apply the cream at some less sensitive area to confirm any possibility of reaction. A healthy body is a blessing from God and so you should take all the necessary effort to safeguard it...! Stay safe.