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Don’t self-medicate, share prescription: pharmacist

SELF-MEDICATION and prescription sharing cause potential adverse reactions that could worsen conditions rather than treating the illness, a Southern Philippines Medical Center official said.

SPMC clinical pharmacist El Aye Shibal stressed that both practices continue to be a pervasive problem among patients.

“Prescription sharing has to be refrained,” she said. “We tend to self-medicate that whenever we have flu, we tend to buy whatever medicine in mind without consulting it (with a physician) first.” 

“What happens if we do not undergo a check-up, there’s a tendency that your neighbor’s illness is different from what you have,” Shibal added.

She highlighted the difference between illnesses caused by viral infection, which is self-limiting and can be resolved without any treatment, and those that need antibiotics. So, she urged patients to seek doctor’s help rather than self-medicate.

The pharmacist said that one could experience allergic reactions in case of interactions with other medications or other serious side effects. “Ang nangyayari ay binibigay natin ang mga maling gamot para sa maling sakit (What happens is we diagnose the wrong medication for the wrong illness),” she said.

Such common activity poses a threat to antimicrobial resistance, which she emphasized as “a silent pandemic”, and is forecast to exceed death rates of cancer and diabetes come 2050.

Antimicrobial resistance happens when the effectiveness of a drug is reduced or can no longer cure a specific infection due to abuse and misuse of antibiotics. In turn, this leads to bacterial mutation or alteration, making the disease stronger and resistant to drugs. 

Among the prevalent infections associated with antimicrobial resistance include multi-drug resistant tuberculosis pneumonia, Streptococcus pneumonia, HIV-AIDS, malaria, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), and Haemophilus influenza.

Sibal said the Department of Health has a “no prescription, no dispensing” policy. She urged the public to listen to pharmacists instead of getting angry if they can’t buy antibiotics without a prescription.


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