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Self-medicating during the covid-19 pandemic?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

The surge in the incidence of the covid-19 pandemic has created panic and anxiety among people all over the world. This has created a gap that requires desperate measures to come up with a cure in the shortest possible time. Nonetheless, this does not call for self-medication.

medical supplies sold at a Pharmacy.

There has been lots of research being organized globally to find solutions to this pandemic; most of the clinical trials are ongoing. When news first broke as the covid -19 pandemic began spreading like a wildfire in most countries, most Ghanaians resulted in all sorts of treatment options not supported by research or prescribed by any qualified health personnel.

Matters worsened when the president of the United States announced that clinical trials, on a combination of Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin, were being conducted since it was showing great signs of alleviating covid-19 symptoms. Some Ghanaians started buying chloroquine as prophylaxis. To discourage people from hoarding chloroquine, the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana started circulating a communiqué banning people from purchasing chloroquine without a valid prescription.

In Nigeria, a doctor said that instead of the pandemic, most of the people were now being treated for chloroquine overdose. There are some social media posting on Facebook, advocating for the use of neem tree leaves in steam therapy to help mitigate the symptoms of the covid-19. Most of these assertions are without scientific evidence and should not be encouraged since self-medication could be dangerous to one’s health.

The sad but inevitable truth is that covid-19 is new, and there is currently no known medication that has been thoroughly tried and tested to help cure this disease. Self-medicating without proper diagnoses can cause more harm than the intended good. It can mask symptoms of otherwise dangerous conditions.

Also, concomitant use of medication with other medication or food can cause serious drug-drug interaction or drug-food interactions that can be disastrous to one’s life. Next time you decide to take any medication, especially in times like these, remember the consequences that could mar you long after the end of this pandemic.

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