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Nishi Sheth
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Problems of self-medication

20 September 2021

Self-medication even for minor ailments, could lead to medical conditions. There is a number of medications that are sold that are not there in the OTC category/ schedule K . some of the examples in this category are pain relievers, antacids, vitamins, antibiotics, and anti-allergics. Community pharmacist has an important role here in the prevention of the self-medication. A community pharmacist should listen, understand, and question the prescription.

Some of the risks of self-medication are due to:

  1. Incorrect diagnosis.

  2. Incorrect choice of therapy.

  3. Incorrect route of administration.

  4. Failure to recognize that the same active substance is being administered prior.

  5. Duplication of therapy due to negligence of the current self-medication.

  6. Failure to recognize the pharmacological risk.

  7. risk of dependence and abuse.

  8. Inadequate or excessive dosage.

  9. Failure to recognize adverse drug reactions

Following are the factors that contribute to self-medication:

  • Easy access to information.

  • Advertisement

  • Socio-economical status

  • Drug regulation

  • Type of disease.

  • OTC dispensing

  • Demand against old container/strip.

Community pharmacists must help the consumer in the selection of an appropriate OTC product. He should ensure about the drug need. he should encourage and provide cost-effective treatment. He/she should always encourage the patient to refer a physician. Ethical and moral responsibility to discourage and' SAY NO TO TO SELF-MEDICATION ".

Cautions related to self-medication:

  • Several OTC medications can cause adverse reactions. for example, aspirin can cause GI irritation.

  • OTC medications can interact with other drugs. For example, aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding with warfarin.

  • Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide problem.

  • Antibiotics for viral infection: viral infections are self-limiting, antibiotics are not a need.

  • Pain killers leading to kidney damage.