TREATING oneself without consulting a healthcare professional comes with a host of drawbacks that are often overlooked. Self-medication in Pakistan is a seriously widespread phenomenon that is driven by factors like convenience, perceived cost-saving as well as easy access to all over-the-counter medications.

The allure of self-medication lies in its apparent simplicity — no waiting rooms and no hassle of arranging an appointment with some doctor; just quick relief.

But this simplicity belies a multitude of risks. First of all, self-diagnosis can be inaccurate, leading to inappropriate treatment or even masking underlying health conditions that require profess-ional attention.

Secondly, improper use of medications, such as exceeding recommended dosages or ignoring contraindications, can result in adverse reactions or long-term health consequences.

Moreover, self-medication, on a broader scale, can contribute negatively to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance because people misuse these drugs to treat viral infections, like the common cold.

As such, every medicine comes with a leaflet containing vital information about its usage, potential side effects and precautions. Yet, most people tend to overlook or dismiss these warnings in their search for instant relief.

The key to safer medication practices lies in education and awareness. Hence, we must educate ourselves and others about the potential risk of complications related to self-medication.

Moving on, this means reading and understanding the information provided with each medicine, consulting healthcare professionals when necessary, and being proactive about our health.

While self-medication might seem like a convenient solution, it is important to empower ourselves with knowledge, seek professional guidance when needed, and prioritise our long-term health over short-term convenience.

After all, when it comes to our health, ignorance is not a bliss; it is a recipe for disaster. Let us adopt safer medication practices, and keep health risks away.

Mujeeb Ali Samo
Larkana

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...
A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...