Meanwhile, experts point out that self-medication is much more dangerous than it might seem, and urges not to risk your health by lightly relying on information found on the Internet.
Self-invented treatment can have negative and even irreversible consequences. People often do not notice all the symptoms of the disease, make a misdiagnosis and endanger their health by choosing inappropriate medications, overdosing them or combining them incorrectly, which can either intensify their action or, on the contrary, neutralize them. Common, everyday illnesses and very serious, sometimes life-threatening illnesses can have very similar symptoms.
The duration of the symptoms is also important, for example, a cough lasting a few days can mean a cold, but a cough for several weeks can indicate a completely more serious illness, so it is important to consult a specialist and in case of suspicion to go to the doctor in advance.
“While the information found on the internet tends to be valuable for everyday needs,
under no circumstances should it become a source used by a person to make a diagnosis and, even more so, to initiate treatment.
Unfortunately, pharmacists are still too often faced with situations where people turn to a pharmacist for advice only when the method of their choice has not produced the desired results – in such situations the disease is often prolonged and the pharmacist can no longer help, instead needs medical help, ”says the pharmacy. Jānis Kūliņš, Member of the Board of the Apotheka Network.
“Even if a person is knowledgeable, has done critical research and selected information on the Internet, it does not mean that the chosen treatment method will be effective and safe for health. However, if a person has found information on the Internet, they should discuss it with a doctor or pharmacist, find out what the specialist’s opinion is on it, and jointly decide on the most appropriate solution for the specific situation, ”comments Agnese Ritene, pharmacist and Tukums pharmacy manager.
First aid in case of illness – pharmacist
“We see that the role of pharmacists in health care is becoming more and more noticeable, especially in the spring, when Covid-19 broke out. At that time, polyclinics and other medical institutions were closed, so we – pharmacists – became the closest and most accessible health care professionals, as pharmacies continued their work as usual. The most important thing is not to be shy, to start a conversation, to ask. We listen to everyone, help to assess whether the chosen treatment method and medication will be the most appropriate, what are the possible side effects and interactions with other drugs, including food, for a successful recovery. Also, it is often the pharmacist who encourages to see a doctor in time, ”says A. Ritene.
* My Pharmacy & Apotheka Health Index.