Is Self-administering Medication a safe as well as a secure method. Moreover, are there any risks, if we self medicate ourselves. Self Medication is the taking of drugs herbs or home remedies on one’s own initiative, or on the advice of another person without doctor’s consultation.

THERE ARE SOME RISKS OF SELF MEDICATION

  • Incorrect self-diagnosis.
  • Delay in seeking medical advice.
  • Serious adverse reactions.
  • Dangerous drug interactions.
  • Incorrect manner of administration.
  • Incorrect dosage.
  • Masking of severe diseases.
  • Allergic reaction to some medicines
  • Addiction to some drugs.
  • Antimicrobial Resistance.
  • Substance abuse.

ANTIBIOTICS

  • Overall, Not all infections can be treated with antibiotics, Antibiotics can’t cure viral infections like cold & flu.
  • In fact, only take antibiotics prescribed to you, don’t share them with family &friends.
  • Antibiotics are not always the answer, in particular, so, don’t demand antibiotics if your doctor says you don’t need them.
  • Always seek the advice of a qualified doctor when taking antibiotics

Do I really need antibiotics?

SAY YES TO ANTIBIOTICS 

when needed for certain, infections caused by bacteria.

SAY NO TO ANTIBIOTICS

for viruses such as cold & flu/runny nose even if the mucus is thick, yellow/green. Antibiotics won’t help for some common bacterial infections including most cases of bronchitis many sinus infections & some ear infections.

Do antibiotics have side effects?

Anytime antibiotics are used, they can cause side effects. when Antibiotics are not needed they won’t help you & side effects could still hurt you. common side effects of Antibiotics can include Rash, Dizziness, Nausea, Yeast infections and Diarrhea.

More serious side effects include Clostridium infection which causes diarrhoea that can lead to severe colon damage & death. People can also have severe life-threatening allergic reactions.

Misusing & Overusing

  • Taking Antibiotics when they are not needed to accelerates the emergence of Antibiotics resistance. One of the biggest threat to global health.
  • Overuse of Antibiotics can cause bacteria to become resistant. meaning current treatment will no longer work.
  • It is the bacteria itself, not the person or animal that becomes resistant to antibiotics.
  • When bacteria become resistant to antibiotics common infections will no longer be treatable.
  • Antibiotic-resistant infection can affect anyone of any age in any country.
  • Antibiotic-resistant infection can lead to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs &more deaths.

Everyone has a Role to Play You Can Help Prevent Antibiotic Resistance

  • Preventing infection can reduce the use of Antibiotics & limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant. Good basic hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Make sure you complete your course of antibiotic treatment & don’t leave when symptoms subside.
  • Make sure you take antibiotics on regular times for a minimum of 5 days.

 What can you do to ease the symptoms?

  • Have plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids
  • Ask a pharmacist to recommend medicines to help your symptoms
  • Fever is a sign the body is fighting infection and usually gets better by itself, Paracetamol! or ibuprofen can help reduce fever
  • If symptoms persist, please contact your pharmacist or General Physician

ANALGESICS

These are medication that primarily relieves pain. They are of different types. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and steroids are of major concern

Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

  • They’re a group of drugs that are used to relieve pain, reduce fever & produce an anti-inflammatory effect for swelling &redness.
  • So, most well-known NSAIDs are paracetamol (Crocin, Dolo), Aspirin, Ibuprofen & Diclofenac (Voveran) Most people use them to treat headache, muscle ache, cramps, Joint Pains, aches from Cold.
  • NSAIDs are easily available, so many people don’t consider them serious medications still, they have major side effects such as,
    • Heart Health: Taking NSAIDs may increase the risk of heart attack/stroke.
    • Kidney Health: Even short term use can harm kidneys. If you have pre-existing kidney disease & taking NSAIDs. It’s important to talk to your doctor about it.
    • Digestion: Short term NSAIDs use can cause Gastrointestinal distress like stomach pain or nausea.long term use can cause ulcers (Peptic ulcer disease) & stomach bleeding.

Risk of NSAIDs

  • NSAIDscanmasksigns &symptoms of infections.
  • NSAIDs (particularly indomethacin) can interfere with medications used to control cardiac failure.
  • NSAIDs can interfere with blood clotting & raise your BP up to dangerous & life-threatening rates If you have already been diagnosed with high BP, high cholesterol or any heart disease, you should take serious caution before taking NSAIDs & speak with your doctor beforehand.
  • Women &anyone over 60 years age are at higher risk of side effects with NSAIDs.

Side Effects of NSAIDs

To avoid overdose or increase in side effect follow these tips when taking NSAIDs

  • Watch your dosage – take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time required for relief. Talk with a doctor before using NSAID for more than 10 days for Pain.
  • Read Labels carefully – Make sure you know what you are taking. many medicines contain NSAIDs so look at active ingredient on tablets & know what’s in every medication you are taking. To avoid an excessive dose of NSAIDs.
  • Know the Risks – Be aware of any risk factor that could increase your chance of side effect when taking NSAIDs such as some preexisting conditions like kidney disease.
  • Talk to your doctor before taking new medicine This will help you understand the risk & make the best decision for your health.
  • So, talk to your doctor about what you can do to reduce your use of NSAIDs & find natural ways to decrease inflammation that may be causing pain.
  • For appropriate use of NSAIDs FDA (Food & Drug Administration) alliance for rational use of NSAIDs in addition to the medical societies strongly recommend that,

STEROIDS

  • So, these are chemicals, often hormones, that your body makes naturally. Besides, they help your organs, tissues & cells do their jobs. Two main types are corticosteroids and an anabolic-androgenic steroid.
  • On the whole, Corticosteroids which are of major concern, are medicines that quickly fight inflammation in your body. These lab-made steroids work like the hormone cortisol, which your adrenal glands make. cortisol prevent your immune system from making substances that cause inflammation.

To avoid overdose or increase in side effect follow these tips when taking steroids,

  • Make prescriber aware of any concurrent diseases, in particular.
  • Be mindful of back pain as well as weight gain.
  • If a patient taking steroid medicine for more than 3 weeks then they shouldn’t stop the medication.
  • The dose should be tapered down gradually to minimum levels & then stopped,
  • Don’t take Antacids (PAN) & anti-inflammatory Pain Killer (ibuprofen) while taking steroids.

OTHER MEDICATIONS OF CONCERN

Antihistamines (cetirizine) or cough syrups:

Used in cold, have sedation dizziness as a side effect.

Supplements:

Calcium supplements – an overdose of calcium may lead to the kidney as well as gall bladder stones. cannot be taken if the patient is having kidney or gall bladder stones.

Vitamin D – In excessive amount may damage heart & kidneys.

Patients should ask for doctors approval before taking supplements.

Contraceptive Pills :

Make sure you discuss with your doctor before starting one, as there may be a risk of some unwanted/unintended reactions which may become serious.

So, Self Medication is an important part of everyone’s life. But it must be made sure that Self Medication and patient safety are in contrast to each other.

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