Misuse/abuse of OTC drugs prevalent of in Guyana – CMO

first_img…Public Health Ministry finding it “tough” to monitor situationThe prevalence of misuse of Over the Counter (OTC) drugs continues to affect the services being provided at regional hospitals and health facilities mainly because persons are using them as a practice of self-medication – more often than not exacerbating their health conditions.Guyana’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo PersaudThis is according to Guyana’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Shamdeo Persaud, who told Guyana Times on Monday that while self-medication is a “no-no”, a number of persons who simply purchase OTC drugs end up using medications that do not treat their conditions; in fact, the wrong medicinal drugs lead to them developing additional symptoms/illnesses.“The Ministry of Public Health provides licences for two categories; the first being for pharmacies and it is mandatory that a pharmacist always be on duty, while the second category is for patent shops. There is a separate permit here and they are limited to what they sell. However, some of them actually sell prescription drugs and, therefore, it becomes harder for us to monitor, quite tough for us to do so,” Dr Persaud said.Dr Persaud explained that due to the fact that some patent shops are selling medicinal drugs for which they are not allowed, they do not need to be provided with a prescription from a patient/customers, and this results in strong medication being misused and even damaging someone’s health.To make the situation worse, there are some folks who are friends with pharmacists and even doctors whom they approach for prescriptions without actually being tested to determine if those medications are what they actually need, he explained.In such cases, some individuals can have allergic reactions to ingredients in those drugs and this, in turn, can result in the loss of lives, the CMO elaborated.OTC drugs are medications available without a prescription at drugstores or supermarkets and are typically safe if used at recommended doses. However, like illegal and prescription drugs, they can also be abused. Although less potent than other substances, OTC drugs still pose a risk for developing an addiction.Abusing OTC drugs can lead to health problems including memory loss, kidney failure, heart problems and death. OTC drugs have various medical uses and effects, from treating mild pain to motion sickness. Some abuse OTC drugs to self-medicate for mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. Abusing these medications can also give users a euphoric “high” or hallucinations. Any use outside of what is recommended is considered abuse.Some commonly abused OTC medications include: cough medicines (Dextromethorphan, or DXM), cold medicines (Pseudoephedrine), and motion sickness pills (Dimenhydrinate). (Kristen Macklingam)last_img read more