Experts warn people from taking self medication
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Experts warn people from taking self medication

‘Incorrect self-diagnosis, dosage of medication pose strong risk to severely adverse drug reactions’

Post by on Friday, December 17, 2021

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Srinagar, Dec 16: Be it headache or a simple cold, doctors have cautioned people over self-medication, citing it could lead to severe health problems.
The doctors believe most of the population hesitate visiting hospitals, more so during COVID times, thus taking medicines, without consulting a doctor.
“Though it is an encouraging sign that people are getting conscious about their health by seeking health information from the internet, however before application of the information, it is important to first verify the same from an expert,” Dr Tasaduk Hussain Itoo, Physician cum public health expert told Rising Kashmir.
Dr Itoo said that self- medication is an unsafe practice. “Incorrect self-diagnosis, incorrect dosage of medications poses strong risk to severely adverse drug reactions. Besides, risk of abuse and dependence - are some of the potential risks associated with self-medication,” he said.
He believes that antibiotics are more commonly self-medicated along with other over -the-counter medications -- that has led to development of antibiotic resistance, which is becoming a serious and challenging concern in today's world.
As per the doctors, the most common antibiotics that are “misused” are Azithromycin, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Ornidazole, Norfloxacin, Levofloxacin, Metronidazole, Ofloxacin, Amoxicillin, and Doxycycline.    
“Sometimes, a patient doesn’t need antibiotics and painkillers but they still consume without knowing the results. Such people can have a renal failure. Even excessive use of vitamins also leads to hypervitaminosis (a condition of abnormally high storage levels of vitamins, which can lead to toxic levels),” doctors said.
They said that many quacks are active in the markets who prescribe antibiotics without knowing the harmful effects.
Dr Aabid Wani, Medical Officer, BMO office, Ganderbal said, “irrational use of antimicrobials without medical guidance may result in greater probability of inappropriate, incorrect, or undue therapy, missed diagnosis, delays in appropriate treatment, pathogen resistance and increased morbidity.”
“Self-medication is defined as "the use of drugs to treat self-diagnosed disorders or symptoms, or the intermittent or continued use of a prescribed drug for chronic or recurrent disease or symptoms. In other words, self-medication has traditionally been defined as "the taking of drugs, herbs or home remedies on one's own initiative, or on the advice of another person, without consulting a doctor,” Wani said.
Dr Wani said that improper self-medication could result in an increase in drug induced disease and in wasteful public expenditure. “Whenever health professionals are prescribing drugs, they should give proper instructions and explain what it is prescribed for so that it will be helpful for the patient to understand and make his own decisions. Given information should be at the patient's comprehension level so that it will be helpful for them to understand its management,” Dr Wani suggested.
Besides that, a lot of people with mental health issues drift into drug addiction because of self-medication.
Dr Yasir Hassan, Professor at Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (IMHANS),Badamwari expressed his concern regarding self-medication which is a very common thing in Kashmir and this practice of self-medicating and misusing prescription drugs poses a threat to healthy life and is actually means abusing the medicine which was supposed to be a saviour drug.
“Consuming psychoactive drugs like benzodiazepines without proper consultation or misusing the doses can cause damage and can also lead to addictive behaviours. It may sound easy to take it without proper consultation, just on someone’s recommendation but it can lead to worsening of the illness,” he said.

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