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January 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm

All of us would at one point of time in our lives have self medicated ourselves. This would have had to be done because either the doctor was not available or the health problem started late in the night and no one was there when called for. It could also have been that we were stuck in a place where no medical facilities were properly available neither was there any doctor nearby for many miles. Whatever the reason we would have had to indulge in self medication.

Self medication is not an advisable thing to do and there are so many diseases and so many medications which are being prescribed. Each case and situation of the same health problem is unique and will not repeat itself in the same way as the earlier episode which the individual was suffering from. So the medication advised earlier would not necessarily be the same which would be prescribed presently and would need to be changed or tinkered from time to time.

So each and every time there is any health issue involved it is better to check with the concerned doctor with whom treatment was earlier being taken and who is aware of the patients health from a long period of time preferably. In the case of specialists too one has to choose a particular specialist who is available at least on the phone line so that his assistants can speak to him and he can advice what treatment is to be given and what should be the dosage and the course.

Given below are certain points to be kept in mind before we do any action on our own will and self medicate. This may save us a lot of risk and trouble which we are putting ourselves in.

– Whenever we approach a doctor for any particular ailment it is better to go to a nursing home, special clinic, hospital, or any place where a particular set of doctors are available round the clock.

– The doctors should be chosen after verifying about the place and the quality of treatment and the response to emergencies or critical care when needed.

– One of the most important things to be kept in mind is even if the price of the treatment may be costly if the doctor is methodical and keeps us informed and takes us into confidence about the treatment which he is giving and if we can also see the results in the specified time. We should not think about the price much. We should treat the increase as a insurance cover as the quality of treatment is good chances of something going wrong will reduce.

– The place where we decide to go should have not only the doctors but also the diagnostics nearby if not in the same building and a pharmacy. The whole budget should be affordable to us. If we are having any difficulty regarding money due to personal reasons it is better to tell them about the same and ask if they are interested in treating us with our budget. Check beforehand that the cost of treatment does not overshoot our budget and burn a hole in our pockets.

– If we are taking self medication for any unforeseen reason make sure you discuss the condition with someone who knows your health well in the family and has taken care of you when you had general illness which may be seasonal. Do not take medicines on your own when ill.  Avoid taking antibiotics in the hope of having a faster recovery as the dosage is usually strong.

– For example if we are having fever due to seasonal variations or changes one can have a paracetamol. In my personal case if I have fever I try to have a three day course of the medication of paracetamol with two tablets the first time and if the fever is too high then having subsequent tablets one for  every 5 to 6 hours . I find that the body pains and fever will subside in the second day and at least some amount of improvement will be there. I will continue the same for two more days and most of the times I get well. But if it persists I go to a doctor and tell him what I took. This I would do if the doctor is not available. But I have stopped this practice now.

– If one already is taking medicines for some preexisting illness the same has to be informed to the doctor. The dosage being taken daily should also be told. If one has allergy or once body rejects certain medicines since childhood the same has also to be informed to the doctor. The health issue on hand has to also be properly explained with the symptoms and why it would have started or if one has done something new say like eating out at a new place or eating a new dish or vegetable or ingredient which we usually do not eat.

– All of us are allergic to some medicine or the other and some medicines cannot be given in combination with the regular medicines being taken as the two do no go together. Many of us do not know this even after growing up that we are allergic to certain foods, vegetables or certain cuisines or fruits too which are generally considered good for all. But as each individual system is unique so does the intake of food too will be as per the individual.

– Never ever self medicate children, make sure you keep at least two child specialist numbers in hand as you can always have another to back on if one is not available. Children, aged people and those who are unwell and on medication are high risk people and their immune system will be weak compared to normal healthy adults.

– Do not pop medicines like chocolates as and when one feels, the reason being, one the human body becomes immune to the medicine if taken indiscriminately and two there will be negative consequences which we will not be aware of each medicine even though  we may get well. It may be that some other part of the body is getting damaged without our knowledge. Cough syrups and other kinds of syrups or halls etc if taken regularly or used indiscriminately will not work and provide any relief and in turn the reverse effect takes place.

– Prevention is better than cure and it is better to have annual health checkup conducted on all family members and one should not be afraid or shy away from it, as if some issue is there and it keeps lingering it will escalate and turn into a full blown case and become terminal increasing the costs and becoming immune to treatment. This will end up being  a very costly affair and will affect the whole family. So be careful about this tendency.

– We also have this habit of not going back to our place and getting something checked when we are told to do so if we happen to go on a vacation to a place and happen to meet a doctor there at that time for the problem. The excuse we usually give is that we became well with the medication given and hence did not think going for a check up was required on our return. This will prove costly.

– We also have cases of elders who keep bragging that they are hale and healthy and hence do not need any check up and one fine day all hell breaks loose then the whole family will be running to doctors and hospitals as the elder suddenly developed some complication which could have been treated if it was diagnonized  in the preliminary stages. The lesson, never listen to elders and children or any member of the family if they say they are perfectly healthy and do not need to see the doctor. The thing is we all are afraid of going to a doctor subconsciously for one reason or the other, but do not like to tell it openly.

– Go to a doctor who always gives a patient hearing to your problems and answers any questions you may have about the medications. If you find a doctor getting annoyed when questioned or asked about side effects. He is not a right person as he is too overconfident and that spells trouble for the patient. Also one cannot ask any questions and has to lump medicines given by him even if side effects are there. Remember it is your health and the doctor is for you and not the other way round. He is duty bound to answer any question you may have happily. In fact he should be happy if you ask for a second opinion too.

Remember we all have been blessed whatever bodies we have got with the health conditions we have, learn to  accept it and move ahead and take good care of health as health is wealth. If we are there we can take care of the family otherwise they will suffer and we will end up being a nuisance to our relatives.

Remember these words in the article whenever you are going to pop in those pills. As everything comes with its plus and minus and the person to decide is the doctor and not the patient. This is food for thought.


January 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm

At times, cost becomes a big factor in treatment. Some doctors do take care in giving advice and diagnosis.
Yet there are some greedy ones, who either recommend too many medicines, sometimes available only at certain medical stores, or recommend too many tests, just to make more commission.
So one has to be very careful.

January 9, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Yes agree with your view one hundred percent. One has to be careful before choosing the doctor or a place of treatment and should not go just by the name or looks of the place.