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Self-Medication Is Dangerous to the Society

  • Date Submitted: 05/22/2011 01:01 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 41.6 
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Dangers of Self Medication

A large number of people, when they fall sick, do not consult the physician. They either consult a chemist and obtain a medicine from his shelf, or may consult a neighbor who may be having some tablets left over from his previous illness, and readily spares them. Have you ever noticed that right from popular magazine editors to your domestic servant thinks that he or she is a medical authority? If you have a fever, cold, cough, constipation or indigestion, your friends or even total strangers volunteer advice on medicines to take like expert physicians. Almost everyone you meet has an excellent remedy for whatever ails you. In short, this is what  is meant be self-medication. May be most of the times nothing untoward happens on following such advice, but it can be dangerous.

We today are a crazy pill-popping generation. It is rightly said that the desire to take medicines, is one feature that distinguishes man from animals. Recent advances in drug research have provided many synthetic medicines for the treatment of disease, leading to a drug explosion. Today over 7000 drugs and drug combinations are available. Many of them have been released for general use, and are sold directly to the public as over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. A large number of potent drugs are thus available to the individual for self-medication. There is an obvious difference between drugs and other commodities of life. The consumer has no way to judge the efficacy of a drug or its hazards, and therefore these judgments have to be made for him by physicians.

Paracelsus (1493-1541), the alchemist-physician, in the 16th century observed that all drugs are poisons. The availability of potent and dangerous drugs has increased considerably since the close of the 19th century. At the same time expanding availability of medical care, exposes a large population of people to drugs, leading to a greater number of toxic reactions. This situation is further worsened in...

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