Taking medications are part of our life because we all get sick from time to time. Medications are prescribed to promote better health, prevent diseases, or to reduce disease symptoms.
However, when it comes to taking medications, there are certain vital things to do, to ensure that it does its job effectively. When you fail to follow the guidelines of a prescription, it might have adverse effects on you.
Hence, in this article, you will find out the 10 common mistakes that Nigerians make when taking prescriptions or medications. You might have been making some of these mistakes due to ignorance or negligence, but not to worry, you will get the accurate information today.
1. Sharing your prescription with another person
Although it might sound strange but sharing drugs prescribed for you with another person is actually wrong. Whether the person has the same sickness as you, it not advisable that you share your prescription with him or her.
The reason is that many drugs have become complex, and usually prescribed to meet a patient’s specific needs. Additionally, a person might react differently to the same drug.
2. Taking more medication than prescribed
Most people are fond of taking more medication than what was prescribed for them by the pharmacist. Sometimes, you might just pop pills without taking note. Doing so won’t help you get better faster, nor will it increase the effectiveness of the medication.
If you take excessive drugs than prescribed, you might damage your stomach or intestines.
3. Not checking the drug expiration date
The expiration date is the estimated final day that the drug manufacturers has guaranteed the complete effectiveness and safety of a medication. Many chemists in Nigeria sell expired drugs to unsuspecting people. It would be wise to check for the expiration date before buying it.
Maybe you have a lot of drugs in your cupboard, do you know when they expire?. Taking a drug that is already expired will not just be ineffective but could be potentially harmful.
4. Not taking the drug exactly as it was prescribed
Most medications usually come with specific instructions. For example, you may be asked to take a drug three times a day or only at night. This instructions are for the drug to work perfectly and also for your own good.
If you want to get better and recover on time, you should not skip your medications or be negligent. Your medication should be followed exactly as prescribed.
5. Drinking alcohol while on medication
Alcohol is known to have harmful interactions with many medications. Most people are fond of this habit, and it is wrong. Drinking alcohol while on drugs can cause severe complications in the body.
Also, alcohol intake may significantly reduce the effectiveness of the medication or even render them useless.
6. Not asking the doctor for if the drug has any side effects
It is not unusual for drugs to have side effects. They might include headaches, nausea, or dizziness. A lot of people don’t bother to find out about the side effects of these drugs before taking them, which is not good.
It is very essential to ask the physician if and how a particular medication will affect you. The side effects can be mild, but they are likely to affect your normal daily activities such as concentrating at school, work, or driving. If you’re aware of side effects, you can deal with it better.
7. Overuse of sweet medications
There’s one drug that comes to your mind, right? Yes, Vitamin C! Many people are fond of taking vitamin C like it’s a sweet but is a drug. There are many other medications that are overused because of their taste.
However, no matter how sweet a drug tastes, it is still a drug and ingesting it more than prescribed is wrong. You should also inform your children about this too. Excessive vitamin intake will lead to stomach cramps.
8. Not informing the doctor if you are taking another drug or herbal medicine
If you are taking another drug or herbal medicine, you should inform your doctor about it.
This is very vital, because there may be drug interactions with some drugs or herbs. Once you tell the doctor, he will help you avoid any complications and recover from your illness properly.
9. Stopping medications as soon as you begin to feel better
Nobody likes to remain sick, or take drugs, so once they start to feel better, they stop taking their medications. Doing so is very unhealthy. It is imperative that you complete your prescription, even if you start feeling better. Most diseases can resurface again once you abruptly stop your medication.
10. Taking medications when you are not yet sick
Although they are some preventive drugs and vaccines that are taken to prevent diseases, some should be taken to treat diseases. It would be wrong to take medication when you are not sick at all.
So there you have it, the ten common mistakes Nigerians make when taking drugs. Do you think I missed out on anyone? Please add yours. Also, which of them are you guilty of? Please drop your comments below.