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Published On: Mon, Jul 14th, 2014

Your health and self medication

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Your health and self medicationBy Doyin Ojosipe

The saying that health is wealth is never a false conclusion as a terribly ill patient would most likely not think of any other positive development than to recover and get out of the sick bed.

No wonder many will do all they can to remain healthy since  very important issues could be at stake if otherwise; though, many do not have access to medical facilities either due to residential location or due to lack of the where withal to seek proper medical treatment.

To this end, some sick patients rely on self care and medication as a means to maintain their health and remain on their feet.

While some have a little knowledge on what to take, some just take any drug as long as it relieves them at a given period.

However, while research statistics have it that about 60% to 65% of illness are caused by self medication, Medical practitioners have also frowned at the concept of self medication as it could lead to avoidable premature death.

In an interview with a former staff of Doctors without Borders, Pharmacist Yilchini Yilben Ishaku, he pointed out that the negative effect of self medication supersedes the gains as the aftermath is never sweet.

The pharmacist explained that although, most of the drugs taken as self medication are over the counter drugs(OTC), the tendency to get addicted to such drugs are on the high side; which could develop into a much complex health issue.

Ishaku listed the category of self medicated drugs as: Analgesics or strong pain killers; anti-depressants, for treatment of anxiety, sleep disorders; stimulants which are used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also known as narcolepsy; cough expectorant, especially with codeine; antibiotics and multivitamins.

He also noted that, some sick patients will resort, to self medication if they feel the problem is too minor to seek the attention of a doctor, while some do try compare the present symptoms with a previous one, which has received a proper medical attention and then, decide to take drugs similar to one they had in the past.

Speaking on the dangers of self medication, Ishaku noted that, apart from extreme adverse effect like death, other repercussions could worsen the problem.

He said that, self medication could be deceitful, as it may relieve the sick for the time being; while also making the patient believe he has been healed, only for the sickness to resurface after a while.

Furthermore, he said, most self medication are wrongly taken as:  the dosage might not be correct; there might be a wrong interaction of drugs, which could cause adverse effects; long or short period of usage or taking overdose all of which causes more damage on the long run cum making the case even much more complicated.

The pharmacist then advised patients to try and avoid medication without the services of a health specialist, adding that though it could be engaged at urgent times, it should be done with good knowledge and care, while the person in question should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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