A lot of people would prefer to treat mild to moderate pain, to reduce fever or common colds at the comfort of their own homes. With the help of the internet, reading up on our symptoms and their treatments is made even easier. In fact, various comprehensive source of drug information covering over-the-counter medicines & a wide array of natural products are now made available online.
Self-medication is, in itself, not dangerous. It offers many benefits which includes immediate relief to pain and reduced dependency to hospital treatments. It also promotes a more proactive attitude towards one’s wellness.
What is Self-Medication?
The World Health Organization defines it as the use of medicinal products to treat self-recognized disorders or symptoms, or the intermittent or continued use of a medication prescribed by a physician for chronic or recurring diseases or symptoms. In practice, the organization states that it also includes use of the medication of family members, especially where the treatment of children or the elderly is involved.
However, irresponsible practice of self-medication could compromise one’s health. Having no specialized knowledge of the principles of pharmacology or therapy poses a lot of potential risks that could take a serious toll on one’s health. Here are some of the most common risks associated with self-medication that we at Maxwell Pharmacy, Inc, a drug store in East Harlem New York, New York have gathered for you:
Masking the symptoms of a serious condition
Taking no serious action to a number of symptoms is common to many individuals. Oftentimes, prescription and over-the-counter medications are the only reported intervention strategies being carried out. However, there are instances wherein self-diagnoses couldn’t detect the body’s signals when it’s time to see a medical professional. Among the red flags that may require more than just a dose of your usual over-the-counter drugs are a lasting and severe cough, intense headache, chest pain, persistent fever and unusual bleeding. Taking these symptoms for granted might mask a serious disease or even a looming threat to life.
Using inappropriate medications that cause side effects
Popping random pills could become counter-productive. According to an article by the familydoctor.org, over-the-counter-drugs generally have a low risk of adverse effects when used occasionally and properly by adults who are generally healthy. However, they can pose greater risks for some people, including very young children, older adults, and people taking more than 1 type of medicine. Examples of common side effects include nausea, dizziness, or bleeding in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Therefore, it is crucial to know one’s complete medical condition before taking any form of drug. Knowing one’s medical history could be very helpful in identifying which drug could cause you adverse effects. Also, it is important to read the labels, look for the active ingredients, purpose and dosage of the drug.
Not all medicines come readily in a uniform liquid or tablet form. Oral Suspensions, for example, require proper shaking or stirring so that you receive the right amount of drug every time you take it. Otherwise, you may receive too little drug in the beginning, and too much drug in the end. Taking the wrong dosages is also one of the most common risks of self-medication.
If you’re not certain about the right treatment for your pain, consult your doctor. You may also visit us at Maxwell Pharmacy, Inc., a drugstore in East Harlem New York, New York. Our friendly and approachable pharmacists can help and guide you into living a better and healthier life. For any concerns, please call us at 212-534-7700. We look forward to seeing you!