Polypharmacy, self-medication and antibiotic resistance are the three major challenges facing the medical world. Are increase in the number of diseases is the sole reason behind this problem? Availability of Rx medicines at OTC (Over the Counter) medicine stores, lack of awareness about medicines, and taking in wrong medications are the major reasons behind these problems.
Buying medications in today’s world have become more like shopping in a mall. Paracetamol for fever, a painkiller for pain in hands and legs, vitamin tablets for tiredness, severe antibiotics for the common cold. Is it really a good practice to swallow whatever tablets and pills we get our hands on? It’s time we think about the dangers and consequences of consuming way too much medication.
More than 50% of women in India are affected by arthritis. But not even 10% of these people take in right medicines for this problem. A lot of these women take in painkillers to solve their problem regularly, and eventually get addicted to it. This habit leads to severe kidney dysfunction and even kidney failure. To remove this kind of medical ignorance, raising awareness about taking too much medicine, and knowing its consequences will be the best solution to this problem.
For patients with a severe fever, doctors can prescribe up to 4000mg of paracetamol a day. But Doctor can even choose to prescribe only 2000 mg. Paracetamol tablets are available in 650mg and 400 mg. Consuming these tablets three or four times a day will be enough is Doctor’s advice. The maximum amount of paracetamol a person can intake per day varies with individuals, depending upon his or her body condition. Consuming more than 4000 mg per day or taking paracetamol on a regular basis will make the Acetaminophen, a chemical substance that is found in paracetamol to turn toxic and this will impact the functioning of the liver. Initially this will give out symptoms like loss of appetite, vomiting, sweating, yellowish eyes, and eventually, this could lead to inflammation of the liver.
The first symptom of a problem in any organ is the pain expressed by it. Headache could be a symptom of a migraine, high blood pressure, or even eye problems. Painkillers we intake for these problems usually suppresses the pain temporarily and stops us from consulting a Doctor. This could increase the severity of the disease. Doctor’s usually do not prescribe painkillers for more than three days. They do it, just to make sure if the problems persist. If it does, it’s time to move on to the next course of treatment.
Consuming a lot of painkillers could lead to internal bleeding. Sometimes this could even lead to kidney failure. Heart patients who take aspirin, should not consume excess painkillers, as these painkillers would reduce the functioning of aspirin and increases the possibility of developing blockages in arteries.
Antibiotics for Cold
The cold could be just a common cold or it could be due to an infection in the lungs. If it’s a common cold, there is no need to take in any medications, it will go off within a week. But heading towards a drug store and buying your own set of antibiotics to cure the problem will only make it worse. Taking in these antibiotics could lead to antibiotic resistance. This could lead to a bigger problem when we really need to be treated with an antibiotic in the future.
Syrup and tonic prescribed for cold, and tablets prescribed for allergies belong to this type of medicine. The main problem with these types of medication is it induces sleep. A lot of parents use these medicines for kids, not just for cold, but also to make them sleep. It’s more like inducing drug addiction to kids at an early age. These medicines have a capacity to control the hormone secretions inside the body. Using these medicines in excess will lead to dryness in the mouth and also dullness in kids.
Excess usage of sleeping pills
Apart from those who use sleeping pills under Doctor’s advice for their sleeping problems, others should not use it. These pills can calm down the brain’s activity and is capable of controlling it. Using it unnecessarily will lead to addiction, stress and other mental disorders.
Corticosteroids are prescribed for patients with Asthma. For patients taking corticosteroids on a daily basis, it’s better to switch to an inhaler in place of these drugs. These medicines have a tendency of bringing in a lot of side effects, in fact, it has a special place in medicine world for its ill effects. Taking in steroids in large quantity will reduce resistance towards diabetes, reduces immunity and increases pressure in the eyes (Glaucoma).