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Self-care using medications without medical or pharmaceutical advice is called self-medication. Find out what the risks are.
When we speak of self-medication, we are not referring to taking some time to yourself with home remedies like herbal tea with a garlic-clove or honey. By definition, self-medication is the use of drugs without a medical recommendation or prescription, in other words, without the advice of a healthcare professional such as a doctor or pharmacist.
The use of medications, whether or not they are prescribed, should never be taken lightly. In order for them to be beneficial, they must be taken appropriately. Misuse can involve risks, in some important cases. This is why it’s always better to ask the advice of a knowledgeable professional, such as a pharmacist, before turning to medication.
Headaches, back pain, stomach aches or tooth aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, allergies, cold, flu, dry eyes, infections, dehydration, etc. The list of small or big ailments that we may want to ease or treat ourselves is very long.
For mild and transient health issues, it’s easy to say “Why see a doctor when I can resolve this myself?”. Unfortunately, there are risks associated with such a decision, not to mention the fact that an optimal treatment may be overlooked.
In life, it is often normal to want to take the quickest or easiest path. Some people may believe that it is easier to rely on themselves for relief or treatment. However, this type of path may be filled with obstacles and hazards.
There are many reasons that can push a person to turn to self-medication:
Taking responsibility for managing one's health is a very virtuous thing to do. However, it’s important to consult experts in the field to ensure that you receive accurate information.
Your pharmacist is a healthcare specialist, but above all a medication expert. When it comes to medication, including the ones sold over the counter, they are the most knowledgeable. If you take prescription medication, a pharmacist can access your pharmacological record and provide even more informed advice on the most suitable products to choose and their optimal and safe use.
As with any medication, over-the-counter products can involve risks, such as the following:
By choosing a treatment yourself or using it without medical or pharmaceutical advice, you cannot be sure that it is the best option for you. Symptom relief or the treatment of your health issue may be partial or even non-existent.
COVID-19 is an infection that can cause a variety of signs and symptoms, the most common being fever, coughing, breathing difficulties and a sudden loss of smell or taste. If you have one or more of them, or other symptoms pointing to an infection, it could be COVID-19, but not necessarily. Do not go to the pharmacy, but rather, call toll-free 1-877-644-4545. You will then be directed to the right place to assess your health and receive adequate care.
If medication is required to ease your symptoms and you think you already have what you need at home (e.g., acetaminophen), call the pharmacy to make sure it is the best option for you and to get information about safe and effective use.
The pharmacy can deliver the medications you need.
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