Why self-medication could do you more harm

July 16, 2020 11:54 pm | Updated July 17, 2020 12:14 pm IST - CHENNAI

A majority of people self-medicate because of easy availability of drugs, Arjun Rajagopalan, founder and director of Sundaram Medical Foundation, said on Thursday.

While talking at the webinar of The Hindu Wellness Series on ‘Self-Medication: Why is it a matter for serious dialogue’, he said people had been indulging in self-medication during this crisis and otherwise. “People can get even advanced generation antibiotics over the counter. Until this issue is handled the problem of self-medication will continue,” Dr. Rajagopalan said.

He added that it was illegal for pharmacies to dispense medicines without a prescription or doctor’s recommendation.

Usha Sriram, consultant, diabetes and endocrinology said one of the important downsides of self-medication is that it masks diagnosis.

“These days, people even self-medicate with hydroxycholoroquine, thinking they are not going to get COVID-19,” she said.

Popping vitamin tablets like candy should be avoided, Dr. Sriram said, and added that everything should be done in moderation and under medical advice. Many use skin lightening products without a doctor’s recommendation and these products block vitamin D and end up with severe deficiency, she said.

“A healthy diet, good physical activity and adequate hydration can keep your immunity up,” she said.

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