Whether you’re dealing with a broken arm or just a bad headache, self-medicating is probably something you’ve done at some point. But before you grab the nearest bottle of ibuprofen and pop it open, think about this – many medications are poisons. And while they might not kill you immediately, they could lead to serious health problems if not taken with caution.
There’s also the genuine possibility that your self-medication could trigger an allergic reaction in your body, which could be deadly. So before reaching for any over-the-counter pain reliever or allergy medication, read on to find out why it’s always best to consult a doctor before self-medicating.
Why You Should Never Self-Medicate All the Time
Medications Have Side Effects
Side effects are the unwanted and unintended results of taking a medication. It can be severe or even life-threatening, so it’s important to know what they are before you start taking any new medications.
Side effects can include drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues like constipation or diarrhea. They may also include changes in mood, such as feeling depressed or anxious. Some people experience skin rashes when they take certain medications, such as antihistamines, that are used for allergies.
Self-Medication Is Dangerous
According to MDPI, COVID-19 increased the practice of self-medication globally. Self-medication is dangerous and can lead to serious health problems. You may not know what you are taking or how much of it. You may take the wrong medicine or take too much of one drug and not enough of another.
It’s also easy for people who self-medicate to miss signs that their condition has worsened because they don’t have someone overseeing them who knows what to look for. Self-diagnosis can be especially dangerous when dealing with mental illnesses like depression or anxiety disorders because those conditions can cause people to make bad choices under stress.
You May Miss or Overlook a Medical Condition
You may miss or overlook a medical condition. Medications can mask the symptoms of other conditions, so you might not realize that you have an illness that needs to be treated.
You may take the wrong dosage of medication. For example, suppose you are taking an antidepressant and have never taken one. In that case, your doctor needs to monitor how well the drug is working for you and adjust the dosage accordingly over time.
If someone self-medicates with antidepressants without consulting a physician first, they could take too much of the drug, leading to serious side effects such as seizures or even death.
You could also take two medications with similar active ingredients without knowing about it. It can cause serious side effects such as blurred vision and difficulty breathing. If this happens while driving, it could lead to accidents on the road.
You May Not Follow the Proper Dosing Instructions
You should never self-medicate because you may not follow the proper dosing instructions and adversely react to your medication. For example, suppose you were taking an antihistamine for allergies and didn’t follow the directions on the label. In that case, it’s possible that you could overdose or underdose on your allergy medicine.
You May Make the Problem Worse
You may make the problem worse by taking the wrong medication. There are many different types of conditions, each requiring unique treatment. If you take the wrong drug for your condition, it could exacerbate your symptoms or even cause new ones.
For example, Tepezza is a medication used to treat Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), produced by drug manufacturer Horizon Therapeutics. But if you don’t know what you are doing and self-medicate, you might have permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and other hearing problems.
There is an ongoing Tepezza Lawsuit, where plaintiffs have claimed that they suffered from hearing issues after being administered the said medication. According to the Endocrine Society, around 65% of patients experienced the side effects.
You Are More Likely to Be Addicted or Dependent on Them
According to Drug Abuse Statistics, around 22% of males and 17% of females misused prescription drugs. One of the reasons why you should never self-medicate is that you are more likely to become addicted or dependent on medications. There are many different addictions, but they all share one thing: the need for more and more of the same substance over time.
The body becomes used to certain chemicals, and withdrawal symptoms occur if those chemicals are removed suddenly. Some people experience these symptoms as an uncomfortable physical reaction, and others feel irritable or depressed. Some may even experience hallucinations.
Never Take Medications or Drugs That You Do Not Need
You should never take a medication or drug that you do not need. It may seem obvious, but it’s essential to understand why this is true and how it can affect your health. Medications are used to treat illnesses and diseases but also have side effects that can harm your body if taken incorrectly or are not prescribed for an illness you have.
If the doctor prescribes a medication for a condition you don’t have, then taking it could cause side effects like nausea or headaches, which are just mild ones. It’s better to avoid taking any medications than risk these problems because of something as simple as misdiagnosis by your doctor.
We hope this article has helped you understand why you should never self-medicate. We must take our health seriously and always seek proper medical care if we feel something is wrong with us. You should never take medications or drugs unless prescribed by a doctor because they can cause serious side effects or even death in some cases.
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