A community pharmacist, Mrs Ayodeji Oyelabu, yesterday in Ibadan cautioned Nigerians against practicing self-medication.
Oyelabu, who is also the Director of Talitha Pharmacy, Ashi, Ibadan said self-medication is the prescription and use of medicines by individuals to treat self-recognised or self-diagnosed conditions or symptoms.
“Self-medication can be very dangerous because you cannot overestimate or underestimate the danger it can constitute to your body.
“Many lives have been lost due to this practice, because treating yourself with medication can be highly complicated and something can easily go wrong with the body.
“You don’t know how a particular drug might interact with other medications and things around the body and this can prove fatal,’’ she said.
According to her, self-medication is fast becoming a public health problem with Nigerian adults on a regular basis.
“The most widely self- prescribed medicines are analgesics, antimalarials and antibiotics and the danger of self-medication is tentative diagnosis or incorrect self-diagnosis.
“Someone may be carrying cancer without knowing, whereas he keeps treating malaria because there are a thousand and one ailments that come with malaria symptoms.
“Other potential risks of self-medication practices include delays in seeking medical advice when needed, dangerous drug interactions, and incorrect manner of administration,” Oyelabu explained.
She added that self-medication could also result to under-dose which could be as dangerous as over-dose of drugs.
“When you administer under-dose, you tend to open yourself to risk of non-effectiveness,” she explained.

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