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Dangers of Stopping Medication

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  February 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM Health Watch   - G J E 4
In today's fast paced life, people hardly get to focus on their health issues bothering them. To add to it, long queues at the doctor's can take up a sizeable chunk of your time. In such a scenario, a person is most likely to take prescription medications and simple OTC drugs as per his need. However, doing this over a prolonged period of time can be disastrous for health, and can even worsen the existing condition.
Dangers of Stopping Medication
Dangers of Stopping Medication
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Discontinuing an antibiotic course right after the symptoms go away is probably the most widespread and common drug misuse today. When you stop taking antibiotics before you complete the course, there are chances of the infection relapsing. Soon after regression, you'll probably also notice that you may need a few more doses than before. This is because partial or incomplete exposure to antibiotic doesn't kill the bacteria entirely. Infact, it makes them stronger and resistant to that medication.

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Discontinuing a medicine, therefore, must be done only with the doctor's consent.

Carelessness is one of the big reasons why people discontinue medications. For people suffering from chronic, lifelong ailments, regularity plays a vital role. Skipping doses can be disastrous and may impact health in harsh ways. Another reason why people tend to skip medications is that they are scared of being too dependent on medications. For instance, people suffering from depression often think that taking anti-depressants and migraine pills may cause them to become dependent on them. However, skipping these medications can cause more harm than taking them over a period of time.

Here are some ways you can cope with this condition better and think twice before discontinuing your medications.

Follow the 'old is gold' rule: Clinical trials and researches in pharmaceutical industries have now caused an emergence of new drugs in the market. There may now be two or three new drugs in the market replacing the drug you use.

These new drugs however, although more effective than the older drug, may carry many long term side effects. The efficiency and side effects of certain new drugs cannot be put into data unless it is evaluated for widespread use. This is why, it is necessary to stick to your medications. If your doctor changes your current medication, speak to him about the pros and cons of the new drug.

Dangers of stopping suddenly: Skipping doses or discontinuing your medications can be serious business. Listed below are potential risks of suddenly stopping your drugs.

Anti platelet medications, taken usually by patients suffering from coronary heart disease, can cause development of blood clots, leading to heart attacks and strokes when discontinued.

Skipping doses of antiviral medications may cause resistance, opportunistic infection, and progression of the disease to a full-blown state.

Beta blockers (used by patients suffering from coronary heart disease) may cause chest pains and heart attacks if use is discontinued.

Oral hypoglycemic medicines used by diabetic patients may cause blood sugar to rise dangerously, and may even lead to coma.

Corticosteroid medications used by people suffering from degenerative, chronic and autoimmune disorders, can cause low blood pressure and dizziness.

Source: Medindia
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