Self Medication ; A Threat to Life
Rising number of medical shops and the competition among them to hike their turnover is leading to another kind of problem in India i.e. Prescription drugs/ Schedule H medicines which are meant to be sold only on the written recommendation of a registered practitioner are readily available to everyone. Schedule H drugs are those which may have serious side effects on our body. A doctor must analyze the individual requirement and repercussion before prescribing them. And people have to avoid medication without prescription.
A common medicine which I find most of us taking very readily for headache and other pains is a schedule H medicine having the combination of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Ibuprofen in some patients might have many serious side effects like increased risks of heart attack and stroke, stomach ulceration and bleeding etc.
This is very much necessary to make a thorough assessment of the patient by an experienced doctor regarding the side effects of the drug on the patient. Self medication of such drugs could instigate a chain of events in our body which might prove difficult for a doctor to control and may even prove fatal in later stage. Moreover to maintain a proper dose and complete the full course of schedule H medicines is also very necessary, in absence of which, the disease might get complicated or resistant.
How to recognize a schedule H drug?
There is a red vertical line running throughout the length of the strip of prescription drugs. One must look for this symbol while purchasing any medicine on his own. If found, a doctor must be consulted before starting any such medicine. Even if you don’t wish to go the legal way and consult a doctor, you must ask the pharmacist regarding the side effects of the medicine and evaluate its relevance for you.
The simple urge is that please don’t rely on self medication at least for those drugs which are listed under schedule H and have a red vertical line running across their strip.