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Danger of self-medication

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The shortage of doctors and the difficulty in obtaining medical help is one of the leading causes of self-medication in Africa. Self-diagnosis and self-medication, even if done with the best of intentions, can be a very dangerous practice. Among the potential risks are exacerbating a problem by consuming the wrong medicines, the dangers of adverse reactions or drug interactions, incorrect dosage or manner of administration, delay in seeking real medical advice, drug dependencies and the masking of a spreading medical conditions because of the consumption of the wrong medicines which only hide symptoms and do not cure. We are becoming a nation of pill poppers. We take medicines as if we are eating sweets. The use of OTC (over-the-counter medications which can be bought without a doctor's prescription) medicines is becoming increasingly widespread because they are thought to be safe. People commonly take analgesics, cough syrups, laxatives, allergy medications without a second thou…