Self-medication is far from being a completely safe practice and carries with it the potential risks of incorrect self-diagnosis, incorrect therapy and delays in seeking medical advice when needed. It can cause health problems such as liver damage, strokes, ulcers, kidney failure, miscarriage and diarrhea among many others.
Lybrate, a healthcare firm, revealed that 52% of Indians indulge in self-medication due to time constraints or with the perception of doing away with doctors' fees. Taking this into consideration, Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services, launched a nationwide awareness campaign, 'Say no to self-medication' on Tuesday.
Prasad said, "In India, self-medication undoubtedly is a big problem. People do not check with doctors before taking a pill in cases of minor health problems. They take medicines on their own, forgetting that this might have adverse effect on their health."
For the study, a total of 20,000 respondents were reached out to in 10 cities across India. The study said, "In India, easy availability of drugs for minor health ailments was leading to the menace of self-medication. People take pills based on the suggestion of chemists, friends or just by themselves depending upon their past experiences. The internet boom has further worsened the situation with people going online to search about possible options of medicines for their health problems."
Saurabh Arora, CEO of Lybrate, said, "There was an urgent need to arrest the trend and apprise people about the harmful effects of self-medication. The important link for our campaign is the chemists who sell drugs to people and so we are asking them to support the campaign and make it successful. We will start from Delhi-NCR and take the campaign to other parts."