KARACHI        -         A lady health expert has warned the people to stay away from self-medication as it can cause severe adverse reactions.

Dr Ruqaiya S. Qureshi, an executive of a private pharmaceutical company, was speaking at the 57th Public Awareness Seminar on “Self-Medication” held here at the Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi on Friday.

Dr Panjwani Center and Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) had jointly organised the seminar with an objective to raise public awareness about most important current challenges, which our nation is facing.

Dr Qureshi said that self-medication was defined as the selection and use of medicines by individuals to treat self-recognized or self-diagnosed conditions or symptoms.

She pointed out that every member of the society was required to know about himself, and create awareness among others, adding that health was a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

“In most illness episodes, self-medication is the first option which makes it a common practice worldwide,” she said, adding that use of medication without prior medical consultation regarding indication, dosage, and duration of treatment is referred to as self-medication,” she described.

“Consequences of self-medication include incorrect self-diagnosis, delays in seeking appropriate medical advice, potential adverse reactions, worsening of the condition, dangerous drug interaction, masking of severe diseases and risk of dependence and abuse,” the expert said.

“Most common health issues in Pakistan include malaria, tuberculosis, dengue fever, cancer, ischemic heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, acute respiratory infection, hypertension, asthma, diarrhea, and mental health,” she said.

Talking about nutrition, she said that nutrition was input and a foundation for health and development, saying that healthy food and diet make a body fit and immune to diseases.

She said, “Freedom from hunger and malnutrition is a human right.”