Indians are very fond of giving advice. Whatever the symptom, loved ones will find a home remedy or worse, a prescription. Drugs are often added to this ecosystem without consultation with a medical professional.
Doctors say self-diagnosis is another name for danger. Imagine taking acidity medication for chest pain. You may think it’s just acidity, but it could be a symptom of cardiovascular disease. Ignoring the problem could mean harboring life-threatening illnesses.
Dr. Vaishali Verma, diabetes educator and dietitian, says, “Medicine can have side effects rather than providing relief. People tend to google everything and make a diagnosis for themselves. It is not safe and it can cause life-threatening problems. It is very important to consult a specialist before consuming any medicine, because he knows the problem well and can find the right diagnosis.”
“Over-the-counter medications can sometimes be dangerous. All medications have a safe dosage, and if taken in larger doses without proper guidance, can lead to serious complications depending on the medication being taken.” She adds.
Dolo 650, a type of paracetamol tablet used to treat fever, was the most widely consumed drug amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to IQVIA, 3.5 billion tablets of Paracetamol-Dolo 650 have been sold since the start of the pandemic in 2020. Do you know how big it can be if stacked in layers? It is even 6,000 times higher than Mount Everest.
Dr. Amrit Kalsi, Homeopathy Practitioner and Chief Medical Officer, Delhi Government, Ayush County, says, “Dolo-650 should be consumed with an interval of 6 hours. Consuming them before this time may be toxic.”
Two other drugs were used in the pandemic along with Dolo-650 – blood thinners and steroids during the coronavirus outbreak. “Drugs are drugs that, if taken without advice, can harm the body in addition to treating,” says Dr. Amrit.
According to experts, the covid infection increases the blood clotting rate in different parts of the body. To prevent such a condition, many patients have been advised by doctors to consume blood thinners and steroids. However, some people have started to self-prescribe these drugs which can be dangerous.
“There are a variety of drugs on the market for a problem. For example, there are different types of blood thinners, but only a doctor can tell you which is best for you. Even steroids can also be administered after a certain level of treatment and stage of disease. One of the practical reasons for the spread of black and yellow fungus in the second wave could be an extra dose of steroids. Therefore, self-treatment is not advised in all cases,” says Dr. Amrit.
People usually collect sleeping pills, digestive tablets, antacids, homeopathy, Ayurvedic ready-made remedies from medicine boxes at home. So every time you snack on them without the right medical knowledge or lose track of the dosage. It can damage your kidneys, lungs and liver.
Dr. Amrit says, “Taking a limited dose or stopping treatment is not beneficial. A lesser dose may not heal properly and in a timely manner. On the other hand, an overdose can be deadly, it can damage your organs and can lead to chronic health problems.
During self-diagnosis, we try to identify the problem from the symptoms we may be experiencing, but only trained medical professionals can figure out the root cause. The right medicine is not only about disease, but also about disease intensity, side effects, health status and comorbidities that only a practicing health expert can understand.
An overdose of antacids can affect the small intestine which will not be able to absorb nutrients making the body weak. According to an article from Johns Hopkins University, too many painkillers can damage your kidneys and cause heart attacks. Also, an overdose of blood thinners can disrupt your respiratory system and lead to urinary bleeding.
Besides self-medication, people have found a convenient way to find medicine by consulting a pharmacist. “Blind trust in pharmacies without a doctor’s prescription is not without danger. A pharmacist may know the salts or ingredients of the medicine broadly, but only a doctor studies the effects and uses of the medicine,” she says.
While advising, Dr Vaishali mentions, “It is important that patients or carers do not panic and find their own treatment. Instead, they should be prescribed treatment with patience and a mindset. positive.”
The self-remedy advice may not stop, but it’s up to us to refrain and educate others about the dangers of self-diagnosis.