Dr Vincent Okaa, an Abuja-based medical expert, has cautioned against self medication whenever someone feels ill, as he emphasised proper examination and diagnosis by qualified medical practitioners.
He gave the caution in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, saying that self-medication had become a major threat to peoples’ lives in rural areas.
The medical practitioner, who advised Nigerians to desist from consuming drugs without prescription by a medical expert, identified self medication as major cause of worsening illnesses.
Okaa said prompt access to certified medical facilities should be the norm, “but most people in rural areas either patronise pharmacies or quacks for medical attention.
“Some others resort to self medication and drug abuse, which can cause serious repercussions.”
NAN reports that some commonly abused drugs in rural communities are analgesics and antibiotics.
A patent medicine dealer in Apo community, Abuja, who would not want to be identified, said pain killers and antibiotics are the most commonly patronised drugs in the area.
He said “analgesics and antibiotics both for children and adults are in high demand here.
“I sell it often, some do come and tell me what is wrong with them, fever, body pains or infections and I give them the drugs to relieve them.”
Another patent medicine dealer in Kabusa community also in Abuja, who also would not want to be identified, said most people who patronise him buy analgesics and antibiotics.
He added that “most people living here are artisans, market men and women. After the day’s work, some will develop headaches, fever and body pains.
“They will come and buy drugs so that they can be relieved to go to work the next day. Some buy antibiotics for infection, either toilet infection or Sexually Transmitted Disease.”
But a Community Pharmacist, Chidi Ezenduka, who also warned against persistent consumption of analgesics and antibiotics, advised that the act could damage vital organs and cause complications.
“This is because interactions, drug overdose, drug under-dose, adverse events, drug-abuse, drug-misuse and many more easily occur with the use of such cheap and common medications,” he added.