Self-medication is taking medicines without consulting a physician. But most of the times people don’t realise how dangerous self medication can be and puts the person at risk of adverse effects. Most of the drugs have side effects and contraindications, if taken indiscriminately or in conjunction with other medication
Perils of you being your own doctor
Now have a look at what all harm popping a pill on your own can do to your body.
Diseases go undiagnosed:
If you suffer from frequent headaches and instead of getting properly evaluated, you keep on taking paracetamol or any other analgesic, you may not come to know of the exact cause for the headache. Additionally, long term use of such analgesics may cause liver toxicity. Such frequent headaches may be a reason for eyestrain or high blood pressure.
Some heart patients are advised to take a low dosage of aspirin on a long term basis to keep the blood thin and flowing smoothly. Anyone who alters the dose on their own can land up with severe consequences. A higher dose can lead to uncontrolled bleeding due to excessive thinning of blood or peptic ulcer. Similarly taking non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like diclofenac (voveran) or ibuprofen (ibrufen) for long durations can lead to acidity and peptic ulceration in stomach.
Prescription vitamins are a good move but self prescribed ones may cause hyper vitaminosis in the body. Rather than benefiting the system, they tax the body trying to eliminate the excess.
Decreased antibiotic efficacy:
With antibiotics, one can go severely wrong on self medication. Antibiotics are prescribed considering patients condition, which body system the disease is related to and body weight. One antibiotic is not effective for all conditions and in all body types.
Improper duration of treatment:
Another practice people usually follow while self-medicating is to stop the drugs as soon as they start feeling even little bit better. An antibiotic course must always be taken for a prescribed duration so that it kills all the harmful bacteria effectively. If the course remains unfinished and again after some time the patient start the same antibiotic on his own, he may end up with drug resistance.
For conditions like diabetes or hypertension do not stop taking the medicines without consulting the doctor as it may lead to uncontrolled diabetes and raised blood pressure.
Wrong dose management:
Increasing or decreasing the dosage of any particular medicine is also dangerous or will result in inefficacy. For example, lower doses of antibiotic may not clear the infection properly or higher doses of sleeping pills can result in dire consequences.