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Self-medication: A Major Cause of Health Issues

Editorial                                                        Vol:1,Issue:2 

Abid Jan

SAJMED.2016; 1(2):21                                                           PDF Download

Self-medication is a phenomenon used for taking drugs without any advice or prescription by the physician (1). People often diagnose themselves by comparing their problems/diseases with someone else being diagnosed with the same signs and symptoms. They do not go to the hospital until and unless they face some major health problem or suffer from a major trauma. The increasing trend of busy schedules and complicated lifestyle, societal and cultural norms (2), costly medication and medical bills, lack of education and overconfidence, freely available drugs at corners shops, selling drugs without prescription and lack of strict governments checks are the major factors that cause self-medication. In the present era of increasing environmental problems, global warming, and pollution-related diseases, self-medication is adding a huge obstacle to the treatment of these problems. Antibiotics resistance, insomnia, depression, abdominal discomfort, immune system weakness, kidney failure, liver cirrhosis are some of the main outcomes of selfmedication (3, 4). High prevalence of selfmedication is among both medical and non-medical students. The major use of self-medication is, for a headache, fever flu, allergy, cough, body ache, acidity and minor infections. Sleeping pills and toothache medications are also common among students and other people (5). In the developing countries like Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal, the rate of self-medication is high. More than 50% people are taking drugs without a doctor’s advice (3). Different studies conducted in Pakistan among different communities suggested that self-medication is highly prevalent (51%) in these people which is a leading cause of major health problems and economical loss (2-9). In order to tackle this problem, the governments of all the developing countries should take some serious steps to stop the practice of self-medication. Each and every drug that is registered to the concerned drug authorities must be strictly monitored for sale and prescription. The health department and drug regulatory authority should follow the WHO guidelines for drug prescription and dispensing. Health education and awareness among people should be provided with the help of electronic and print media. Easy access to health care and effective medication can stop the use of drugs unethically. Best quality medical education must be insured in medical colleges at both graduate and post-graduate level for creating a better healthcare industry. The premise of advanced way of life treatment, stressing counteractive action of sicknesses and advancement of wellbeing; which ought to be given most extreme significance, so that medications and different types of medicines are not required, a considerable lot of which are not affordable to the normal individuals.