Mar 24, 2017,


What is Self-Medication?


Self-medication refers to the practice of using prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs without discussing your symptoms with a medical doctor.


Studies carried out on self-medication states that it is very common practice, especially in economically deprived communities.


This study was conducted between June and December, 2007 at the General Outpatient Clinic of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. Two hundred consenting respondents were selected.Information regarding their bio-data, history of self medication, drugs used and the reasons for resorting to self medication were obtained.


Majority of the respondents (85%) admitted to self-medication while the remaining proportion (15%) did not practice it.


Majority of the respondents practiced self-medication using an array of drugs like analgesics, anti-malaria and antibiotics used either singly or in combination.


Dangers of Self-Medicating

Since an individual may use a substance inappropriately, there are dangers associated with self-medicating.

The risks that are associated with self-medication include:

  • Inaccurate diagnosis
  • Using inappropriate medications that cause side effects
  • Masking the symptoms of a serious condition
  • Delaying medical advice
  • Inaccurate dosage that leads to accidental overdose
  • Mixing medications that are not safe to mix, which may result in legal costs or health concerns
  • Risk of abuse
  • Risk of developing an addiction or several addictions

In the worst-case scenario, self-medicating can lead to severe health conditions or even death.

If you or a loved one is experiencing pain, discomfort, or is ill for an extended period of time, then it is time to visit a trained medical doctor.



Help is Vital-Talk to a Doctor

Self-medicating is dangerous. It can cause serious problems, so it is important to set up an  appointment with a doctor  when any symptoms of an illness or mental health condition occur.

A medical doctor is trained to accurately diagnose the ailment and provide an appropriate medication to treat a condition or diagnosis. Explain all of the symptoms and allow a doctor to determine the cause and a treatment plan that is appropriate for you or a loved one.

A doctor may order additional testing to provide a final diagnosis. If deemed necessary, a medical professional will prescribe medication along with clear dosage instructions to prevent an overdose or limit the risk of dependency.

Do not self-medicate; instead,consult a professional


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