Self Medication


  1. When should you self-medicate?
  2. Dangers of self-medication?
  3. Few side effects of commonly used OTC medicines
  4. Causes for Over Dosage
  5. Notes and Tips to Parents
  6. Precautions to be followed when your self-treat with OTCs
  7. Conclusion

When should you self medicate?

What are the risks of self-medication?

  • Inappropriate diagnosis
  • Drug interactions
  • Drug resistance
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Inappropriate drug choice.
  • Inadequate dosage
  • Excessive prolonged drug use
  • Accidental overdose

Few side effects of commonly used OTC medicines

Overdose on paracetamol can cause liver damage and liver failure.

Cough and Cold medicine can cause seizures and side effects

  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Blurred vision
  • Euphoria
  • Insomnia

Pain killers such as Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs can cause stomach bleeding.

Causes for Over Dosage

Some of the main caused of overdose are …

  • Incorrect measurement of dosage
  • Assumption of dosages without professional help.
  • Giving multiple medicines at a time (Polypharmacy)
  • Mixing up drugs that look the same.
  • Young children may swallow drugs assuming they are sweets.
  • Losing conscience
  • Breathing trouble
  • Seizure
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness or severe headache

Notes and Tips to Parents

  • Know the exact height and weight of your child.
  • Read all the instructions and labels that come with the drug, if it is unclear ask the pharmacist for clear instructions
  • Use a cup or dropper that comes with the drug to give the medicine, if you do not have one you can ask the pharmacist.
  • Did you know that in 86% of cases, children taken to the E.R. for medicine poisoning got into medicine that belonged to an adult.
  • Often, kids found the medicines in purses, bags, and briefcases, or in easy-to-reach places like nightstands.
  • Have a medicine cabinet so that it is easy to access by adult and the same kept out of reach of children.
  • Do have a note pad with a working pen always in your cabinets so that any use of medicine can be recorded with time. This will prevent accidental overdose.
  • E.g. If one spouse has administered paracetamol to the infant but forgot to communicate the same and the other spouse also administers a certain dosage. Can lead to overdose.
  • Keep the medicine away from children’s reach and in a sealed or locked box.
  • It is better to keep the medicine in their respective packages, if not use separate containers and name them to avoid confusion.

Precautions to be followed when you use Self medication for kids with OTCs





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