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Do you look up your symptoms online and buy medicines? Here’s why it can harm you

If you are in the habit of doing an internet search for your illness and then buying over-the-counter drugs to cure yourself, it’s time to stop. It can lead to some major health troubles.

fitness Updated: Dec 10, 2017 09:19 IST

Asian News International, New Delhi
Self-medication can cause threatening adverse drug reactions such allergic reactions and kidney impairment.
Self-medication can cause threatening adverse drug reactions such allergic reactions and kidney impairment.(Shutterstock)

Self-medication has been observed as a global phenomenon and potential contributor to human pathogen resistance to antibiotics. The adverse consequences of such practices should always be emphasised to the community and steps to curb it. Rampant 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.

Besides all this, self-medication also leads to wastage of financial resources and often results in lack of therapeutic outcome. Major problems related to self-medication are wastage of resources in resource limited settings for health care environment, increased resistance of pathogens and causes serious health hazards such as adverse reaction and prolonged suffering.

The prolonged suffering contributes in increased out of pocket spending for treatment. Antimicrobial resistance is a current problem world-wide particularly in developing countries where antibiotics are available without any prescription. Self-medication is very common in India and influenced by many factors such as education, gender, socio-economic status, feeling of sympathy toward family members in sickness, lack of time in seeking health care, availability and accessibility of health services, affordability of health services, ignorance, misbelieves, extensive advertisement and availability of drugs in other than drug shops are responsible for growing trend of self-medication.

Always consult a doctor before resorting to popping painkillers.
Always consult a doctor before resorting to popping painkillers. ( Shutterstock )

“Further research could be designed in India in order to explore more insights about the self-medication especially with respect to health spending, resource wastes, cost to benefit ratio, common illness when the patient choose the self-medication, sources of care, etc,” said Dr PR Sodani, Pro President, IIHMR University, Jaipur.

One tends to look up the internet for solutions and buys medicines based on one’s interpretation of the limited knowledge that may be online. If one indulges in the practice of self-medication, one might suffer from potential threats arising because of self-medication which could be detrimental for one’s life. “Prescription drugs need to be more strictly regulated in order to safe guard the patients’ life and prevent him from the deleterious and life threatening adverse drug reactions such allergic reactions and renal (kidney) impairment,” said Dr Sodani.

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First Published: Dec 10, 2017 09:18 IST

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