What Are The Side Effects Of Self Medication

Self-medication, defined as the use and selection of medicines by individuals to treat self-diagnosed or self-recognized symptoms or conditions, has been associated with several benefits. These include active patient involvement in healthcare, increased access to medication and relief, reduced government burden on healthcare expenditure for minor conditions, and better utilization of healthcare professionals’ skills. However, non-responsible self-medication poses significant risks.

Potential risks of self-medication practices include:

  1. Incorrect self-diagnosis: Lack of professional medical evaluation can lead to misdiagnosis, delaying appropriate treatment.
  2. Delays in seeking medical advice: Relying on self-medication may delay seeking professional medical advice when necessary, leading to worsening of conditions.
  3. Severe adverse reactions: Some medications can cause infrequent but severe adverse reactions, which may be exacerbated by improper use.
  4. Dangerous drug interactions: Self-medication without medical supervision increases the risk of dangerous interactions between medications.
  5. Improper administration: Incorrect methods of administration can reduce the effectiveness of medication or cause harm.
  6. Wrong dosage: Incorrect dosage of medications can lead to ineffective treatment or adverse effects.
  7. Masking of severe disease: Treating symptoms without addressing the underlying cause may mask potentially severe conditions, delaying appropriate treatment.
  8. False choice of therapy: Choosing inappropriate medications based on self-diagnosis may lead to ineffective treatment or worsening of symptoms.
  9. Risk of dependence and abuse: Certain medications, especially those with addictive properties, pose a risk of dependence and abuse when used without medical supervision.

Given these risks, self-medication is not recommended as it can cause various side effects and harm the body. It is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.