Dr.Soundharyaa Nagaraj Chennai India
Self medication and its consequences
What is self medication?
Self medication is quite common in our country amongst lay man! It is self diagnosing ourselves with signs and symptoms and treating with "over the counter drugs" from pharmacies..
How self medication make docotors life difficult?
Initially when you supress the symptoms with medications it diverts the disease progress and makes it difficult for the doctors to diagnose it.
Example: If there is a skin problem and you self medicate with ointments/cream at home it modifies the texture and nature of the rash.This makes the job of your skin doctor hard as it varies from the regular features.
How self medication turns a patient's life to danger?
Some internal organs major defect intially present with common symptoms.But when you supress it with self medications, you may feel relieved so it prevents you from visiting your physician..Hence it may end up in a way that you will present to your physician only when its life threatening!
Your family may be allergic to certain medicines which you may not know, this may lead to allergic reactions in your body and when you still continue the meds it leads to severe complications!
Example: Common drug seen in allergic category is penicillin, may be one of your family member had a severe complication/lost life due to that drug's intake..you might also face the same complications if you take that drug..because only your doctor knows your family history.
Commonly a lay man repeats the meds which his doctor gave previously for some other diagnosis but same symptoms. Therefore when you present with the same symptoms it doesnot mean you got the same illness again!Hence it is always advisabe to present to your doctor before taking the medications!
Example: Your doctor might have given you an antibiotic last time because you had a bacterial infection presented with common cold! But this time it might be a viral infection with same common cold! Only a doctor know to diffrentiate between a bacterial and viral infection.
Additionaly when you take the same antibiotics often..you know what! Bacteria and virus are smarter!! They understand that mechanism and they adapt (mutate) themselves, that they will not die when you furthur take it! This makes the bacteria/ virus resistant to your medications..Therefore you will be now forced to change the medicine which is a high dose.
Some medications need to be taken in necessary dosages for a specific period only..If you take extra or more dose it has severe side effects which includes drug toxicity..Only your doctor can tell you a definite dose for you according to your weight and disease severity..not all pharmacy staffs are pharmacology graduates..to calculate the doses.
Then comes steroids..Steroids are used for various inflamatory disease, hormonal problems in prescribed doses..but steroids have serious side effects on continuous usage and high doses including obesity, increased hormonal effects and organ damage to the extreme..
Dexamethasone is a steroidal drug used for various illness including inflamation, breating problem..additionaly it is given to pregnant women for baby's lung maturation in cause of premature delivery or cesarian delivery..It is used in trial as recovery drug to save lives in covid19 as patients have breathing difficulty. It is used as a final stage drug..it is not used to prevent the spread of the covid virus..no research have told dexamethasone prevents covid spread, so it is a misconception that dexamethasone prevents covid.
Therefore donot take dexamethasone without physician's advice
From the author:The above mentioned views clearly explains the dangerous and serious issues related to self medication.Hope it enlightens you with the importance of doctor's consultation.Remember your doctor knows better about your body and
how to treat your complaints. Preventing self medication will always save you from unwanted complications and helps your doctor to cure your illness.Trust your doctor and live healthy.
FAQs on various stages of pregnancy
Are you pregnant for first time?Or Planning for pregnancy?This is for you.
This article answers you various question and doubts you face during your pregnancy.
1. My Urine pregnancy test is positive, what should I do next?
Well, Congrats! This test works according to a particular hormone in your body. For further confirmation visit your near by doctor/gynaecologist.
2. Why do I need to take folic acid only?
Folic Acid is a form of vitamin that is necessary for baby's initial growth.Avoid other medicines for first 14 weeks because it affects the development of the baby.
3. What should I do if I fall sick?
Even for minor ailments consult the nearby doctor or your gynaecologist,don't medicate yourself.
4. Can I travel during pregnancy?
Yes,you can travel upto 34 weeks of pregnancy.Travel does not cause abortion.Long travel might cause back aches and dehydration. But touring is not advisable.
5. Is bed rest needed during early pregnancy?
No,Not at all! Day to day household activities can be done. Heavy weight lifting should be avoided. Complete bed rest can cause complications in your pregnancy.
6. When can I feel my baby moving?
You can start feeling your baby movements from 20weeks of your pregnancy. Initially you will feel like bubble bursting/butterfly like movements.
7. What is NT scan? Why it is important?
NT scan is a mandatory screening scan for all pregnant mothers, during their 11-14 weeks of pregnancy, no accurate results if it is done before or beyond this period. NT scan is a technique to rule out Down's syndrome (down's syndrome is associated with mental retardation).It is so important because normally some chromosomal abnormalities lead to abortion but this syndrome does not lead to abortion and will lead to growth of abnormal baby.
9. What if my NT scan is positive?
Consult your gynaecologist for further confirmation test/procedures.
10. What exercise is recommended during pregnancy?
Walking for 30 minutes is sufficient during pregnancy.
11. How much weight gain is ideal in pregnancy?
It should be between 12 to 14kg, 1.5 to 2 kg in first and 3 months and 2kg per month after 3rd month till delivery.
12. Is it normal to have reduced blood pressure in pregnancy?
It is physiologically normal to have lesser BP during pregnancy.
13. Is it normal to have leg swelling during pregnancy?
It is okay to have leg swelling until you become hypertensive.
14. Does dark coloured food affect my baby's skin colour?
No, not at all! Your baby's colour is purely genetic.
15. What should be my sleeping position during pregnancy?
Till 20weeks of pregnancy sleeping position does not matter, after 20 weeks your not advised to sleep supine, you should sleep either left or right side. Sleeping supine reduces blood flow to your baby after 20 weeks.
16. Any exercise recommended for ease the normal delivery?
Butterfly yoga position is recommended to ease the head fixing prior to delivery. Walking is the best excersice, 20 minutes a day is enough. Exercising helps your muscle power. Mainly the mental preparation to go through labour is very important now a days.
17. what is normal frequency in foetal movements?
There is no specific frequency about movements upto 32 weeks of pregnancy.After 32 weeks, there will be coordinated movements.6 movements in 2 hours period is considered okay. You can watch upto 3 times a day for baby movements.
18. Can I apply pain killer gel for my backache?
Pain killer ointments and gel are strictly restricted as it reduces the water around the baby.
19. Why am I developing frequent pain in my pelvic bone, towards my due date?
It is normal towards the due date as the foetal head/presenting part starts fixing in the pelvic bone.
20. How to identify my labor pain?
You will develop menstural cramps like pains, comes in regular interval, increases in intensity as time goes on. May be associated with bloody mucus or only mucus discharge.
Enjoy all the changes you undergo in pregnancy while awaiting for your little one,All the best!