Have you taken medications freely and without consulting your doctor? Have you used an old medical formula to follow a treatment that you think will help you with some type of discomfort? If your answer is affirmative, you have self-medicated, a practice that, although it is very common, can have negative and even dangerous effects for your body.
This is one of the public health problems that most concern the health authorities for their consequences. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50% of medicines are formulated, delivered or sold improperly. Likewise, almost half of people do not follow the treatments as the doctor prescribed them or take medications inappropriately.
Learn more about the subject and adopt responsible practices with your health and the ones you love in different areas, from home to the workplace.
What leads a person to self-medicate?
Using over-the-counter pain relievers to relieve a headache and other minor ailments is not bad. However, many people seek to treat other more delicate ailments by going to medications that have been recommended or that Internet searches suggest.
The recommendation is that before taking any medicine consult a doctor to prescribe the indicated and the necessary dose as the case may be.
Negative effects of self-medication
Analgesics and antibiotics have become the most used drugs without medical advice or guidance.
The consumption of the latter by patients who do not have infectious diagnoses has world scientists in suspense because the cure can be worse than the disease.
By taking medicines without control you expose yourself to risks such as:
- Reduction in the effectiveness of medications when used for cases in which it is not necessary.
- Poisoning and side effects harmful to health. There are medicines that should not be used due to previous medical conditions (if the person suffers from pressure, for example) or if the woman is pregnant or nursing.
- Development of drug resistance, especially antibiotics, because when used in an uncontrolled way, the microorganisms that cause the disease can become stronger and not be eliminated with the treatment, so the discomfort persists.
- A wrongly taken medication could mask key symptoms for the diagnosis of diseases.