Self-treatment with antibiotics is very common. It is therefore no wonder that some countries show very high resistance to antibiotics, especially against bacterial pathogens in outpatients.
Self-treatment involves taking over-the-counter medications, and thus without medical prescription and supervision. The most disturbing thing is that drugs are becoming more and more available due to their low prices and Internet sales.
Let us clarify that by “without medical supervision” we mean that the doctor is not involved in the diagnosis or prescription. He also does not exercise control over the treatment process .
Unfortunately, nowadays such action is becoming more and more popular. Many people are unaware of how much it harms their health and the rest of society when they decide to self-medicate.
Of course, there are over-the-counter medications that you can take to treat symptoms of minor ailments, such as headaches, fever, and colds. However, you can use them in certain amounts and for a short time. If symptoms persist, you must see a doctor.
In the following article, we’ll look at the risks of self-care and healthy alternatives.
Self-medication and painkillers
Unfortunately, statistics on the consumption of such drugs indicate a massive abuse of painkillers by all members of society, in all age groups, suffering from the most common diseases.
However, excessive use of these types of drugs without medical supervision can cause serious kidney and digestive diseases, as well as lead to stomach ulcers and even liver necrosis.
Very dangerous self-treatment: antibiotics
Antibiotics are very often bought by people who do not even have a diagnosed infection that would justify their use. In many cases, the people who buy them are so knowledgeable that they ask for drugs by their name.
Self-treatment with antibiotics is widespread in many countries. Not surprisingly, there are alarming data on antibiotic resistance, especially among the bacterial pathogens that affect outpatients.
This is a very dangerous phenomenon because it means that overuse of drugs increases the resistance of bacteria, making it difficult or impossible to treat certain diseases .
Do not take antibiotics without medical supervision. Taking them unnecessarily and in large quantities poses a threat to the health of the entire human species.
Many people also take other medications and supplements on their own without medical supervision:
- Agents with local disinfecting action,
- Supplements with vitamins and minerals,
- Antiviral and cough suppressant medications
- Gastrointestinal drugs, laxatives, antacids and anti-flatulence.
However, the most important thing we want to highlight in this article is antibiotic resistance.
Resistance to antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance has led to a global crisis. You’ve probably heard of this problem, but you may not be aware of its magnitude.
When bacterial strains become resistant to antibiotics, it is because antibiotics no longer fight specific bacteria. It is for this purpose that microorganisms develop various defense mechanisms against the effects of a given drug.
Then what is the problem? Can’t you just use another drug if one of them stops working?
Of course, this is exactly what is currently used. However, it will lead to further problems as we overuse the new antibiotics and the bacteria become resistant to them as well. Unfortunately, at this point we are running out of interchangeable antibiotics, and we face the risk of running out of drugs that work.
Risks of self-care
In addition to the problems listed above, treating yourself on your own, without the supervision of a doctor or pharmacist, carries considerable health risks that most people have no idea about. Here are some of the effects of reckless self-medication:
- Drug abuse induced ineffectiveness. It is very common with antibiotics used to fight viruses.
- Dependence or dependence on, for example, benzodiazepines.
- Obscuration of serious health problems.
- The antibiotic resistance we mentioned earlier.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you have any questions about medications. Do not take any prescription medications yourself, unless your doctor tells you to.
Also, remember to always ask your pharmacist how to take over-the-counter medications.