How can Medicine be Dangerous
Illustration of Medicine container with some capsules

Medicines are the marvel of centuries of study and advancement. On top, modern medicine is the gift of science. Vaccines and medicines save millions of lives every year. The average age of people is increasing while the infant mortality rate is decreasing. This is all due to science. They only work best when taken in the correct way and amount. However, the wrong use and negligence can be devastating. So we are exploring ways how can medicine be dangerous.

Medicines may be natural or synthesized. Whatever the content is we should be careful while using it. Recently I went to my nearest hospital to have my eyes checked. My eyes were itching very much. I believed I was having an infection or allergy. There is a lot of dust and pollution in Kathmandu so eye infections are common. Respiratory diseases and mostly URTI are very common.

After the checkup, my Ophthalmologist prescribed some eye drops. The doctor warned me not to use more than prescribed. After buying the eye drops, I looked at the packaging. I always look for expiry date before purchasing any medicine and food. However, the description was quite shocking. It stated that prolonged uses could cause Glaucoma or other infection.

Be Careful about quantity and use duration

Many people from developing countries are illiterate. It is a sad thing but it is the truth. They can’t read and write which makes gives them a disadvantage. They can’t read the instructions and dates on the medicines. Even most literate people don’t read manuals and descriptions. This is the habit of most of the people.

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We should be very careful while using ophthalmic drugs. Glaucoma due to prolonged use is just an example. It also said that further problem may also cause blindness. This kind of problem is also seen with E.N.T. drugs. Prolonged use of nasal decongestants might cause compulsive allergy and upper respiratory infections as well. Rhinitis medicamentosa is a very common side effect of nasal decongestants.

There are many cases and if they worsen it might even cause death as well. According to the one news, a girl was reported to have become blind. This was because she used contact lenses for 6 months. She didn’t take them off or clean them. This caused an Amoeba to develop between the eyes and the vision was damaged.

Jars inside an Apothecary shop
Jars inside an Apothecary shop

Use Wisely

Overdose isn’t just the main problem. Mishandling also might cause serious damage. Ophthalmic medicine that is in the liquid state should also be handled with high care. The head should not be pierced using an object like a pin, needle, etc. The bottle caps already have a plastic pin at the top to pierce. Patients can just remove the collar seal and then screw or close the lid tight to puncture a hole using cap.

Also, the nose should not be touched with bare hands. This causes bacterias and infectious materials to mix with the liquid from hands. This can cause a severe problem for the patient by increasing infection.

The biggest problem with medicine is beginning with Antibiotics. Scientists are afraid that we might be going into the post-antibiotic age. Antibiotics resistance is increasing in people these days. People are using antibiotics in high amount with doctors consult. Some make their disease worse by leaving the recommened dose in the middle.  Scientists fear that modern medicine may not even work in the near future as superbugs develop.

There are various such reasons why medicines should be handled with care. If we ought to make safe use of drugs we must be very careful in its handling. Always consult your doctor before taking any medicine. Take the prescribed amount and for the whole session as prescribed. Do not take more than the prescribed amount and for a longer duration. Even the common over the counter drugs can be dangerous so be very careful.

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