Self Medication For Common Illnesses What To Do And Not

Self Medication For Common Illnesses: What To Do And Not

Last Updated: 24th July, 2022

Self Medication For Common Illnesses: A headache, fever, a cough, a cold, acidity – these are a number of the common illnesses that prompt most people to self-medicate. And then we have a tendency to use medications like antibiotics, analgesics, cough syrups and many other over the counter (OTC) medicines.

But what general people are unaware of is that the undeniable fact that self-medication will land you in hassle, particularly once you take prescription medicines while not consulting a doctor and generally even over-the-counter medicines.


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Here are some common questions with answers you might be well aware of!

Q: Did you have a headache?
A: Pop an analgesic.

Q: Do you suffer from acidity or heartburn?
A: Try taking an antacid.

Q: Are you down with a fever?
A: Just have an antipyretic.

Q: Are you coughing all night?
A: Have an antibiotic.


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A few common things of self-medication for what to do and not for common illnesses like fever, cough and cold, acidity, headache and constipation.

Paracetamol For Fever

Paracetamol is one in all the common over the counter medicines accustomed treat fever. However, in certain cases, this medication may cause allergies. The indefinite quantity of this medication varies from person to person depending upon the load. Therefore, a dose counseled for an adult isn’t appropriate for a baby and contrariwise.

The overdose of this medication will result in hepatotoxicity (liver damage). Therefore, if you’re taking any over-the-counter medication that contains paracetamol and have visited your doctor, then do inform your doctor regarding an equivalent. This is often as a result of, if your doctor prescribes a combination medication that contains paracetamol, then it will cause the drug overdose.


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Using paracetamol in kids is often tough, particularly whereas calculating the doses. Do consult a doctor for appropriate dose calculation for your child that in most cases is predicated on the weight of the kid.

Antibiotics For A Cough And A Cold

Antibiotics, used to treat bacterial infections, ought to solely be taken on prescription. Moreover, if you treat a cough or a cold, that is caused by a viral infection, then taking an antibiotic won’t give you with any respite. Therefore, to understand if you’ve got a viral infection or bacterial infection, you must visit your a doctor.

Antibiotics For A Cough And A Cold


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Do not share your antibiotics with any of your members of the family or friends. Also, forever discard leftover antibiotics, if any, and don’t preserve them for future use. Always complete the course of your medication as prescribed without fail. Don’t take antibiotics with milk because it could hinder the absorption of the active compounds of the antibiotic.

Don’t skip antibiotics or discontinue them while not asking your doctor. Don’t stop taking antibiotics if you begin feeling better. Antibiotics will interfere with certain medications like contraceptive pills, therefore inform your doctor beforehand if you’re taking any other medications.

Laxatives For Constipation

Laxatives are medicines that soften the stools and improve the bowel movement, thereby relieving constipation. Some laxatives may interfere with the absorption of certain antibiotics and cardiac medications. Therefore, use caution if you’re on these medications and are progressing to take laxatives. They’re a strict no-no if you’re affected by nephropathy or cardiovascular disease.


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The use of laxatives in pregnant and breastfeeding women should solely be considered once consulting a doctor. Laxatives don’t aid in weight loss, therefore stop taking these medicines to slim down. It’s necessary to understand which sort of laxatives you’re taking.

Generally, fiber-based laxatives are thought-about safe as compared to others. Don’t take laxatives daily because it will result in dependence and worsen the condition.

Antacids For Acidity

These medicines neutralize the abdomen acid and facilitate to relieve heartburn, acidity, and dyspepsia. Antacids ought to be taken with food or after meals for effective results. The dose of these drugs for adults and kids is completely different, therefore consult with your doctor for the proper dosage. Moreover, some antacids aren’t counseled for kids. Certain antacids contain sodium, therefore, if you’re affected by high blood pressure, these antacids won’t be a right alternative.

Pregnant ladies and breastfeeding mothers ought to consult a doctor before taking antacids. Also, if you’re stricken by disease, nephropathy or cardiovascular disease, it’s best to ask your doctor as certain antacids might not be safe for you.


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If you suffer from any side-effects like abdomen pain, diarrhea, flatulence, constipation, or vomiting, do consult your doctor instantly. Don’t take antacids on an everyday basis or for a long-run because it isn’t suggested. Ask your doctor if you would like to require it, despite its complications.

Painkillers For A Headache

Most of the painkillers are out there over the counter, that makes it simply accessible. However, this doesn’t mean that each time you’ve got a headache, you pop an analgesic. It’s suggested to use painkillers only if necessary and don’t take over the suggested dose.

Whether you’ve got a chronic headache or an episodic headache, don’t overuse painkillers. The sort of analgesic used to treat a headache may vary from person to person. Therefore ne’er use a similar drug as prescribed for your friend or loved one. The overuse of the painkillers will result in a chronic headache. If you experience any side-effects, don’t forget to consult your doctor.


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When it involves using painkillers for any bone or muscle pain – from body aches to period pains – it’s invariably better to ask a doctor.

Is It Safe To Self-Medicate?

Self-medication in common illnesses will result in some potential health risks such as:

Is It Safe To Self-Medicate


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  • Inappropriate usage (wrong medication to treat the disease)
  • Incorrect dose (An overdose will worsen health)
  • Allergic drug reactions
  • Complications because of use when contraindicated
  • Masking of underlying conditions

Hence, it goes without saying that self-medication is often very dangerous to health. Moreover, it may also create a condition severe or worsen a health problem. To stop complications because of self-medication, it’s always suggested to consult a doctor to diagnose the condition and get treated.

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