Nobody knows more about medications than pharmacists.
Two pharmacists have warned against the misuse of over-the-counter drugs.
Pharmacist and self-medication expert Dr Deepa Maharaj has cautioned against the abuse of cold and flu meds containing codeine, in particular.
Dr Maharaj says it's important for people to use medication effectively and be informed before self-medicating.
Patients must understand why they are taking something... Read the label. Make sure you are taking the product for what it's indicated for.— Dr Deepa Maharaj, Chairperson at SMASA Regulatory and Technical Committee
If you're taking it for longer periods of time, then you know dependence has developed. You should seek professional help for that.— Dr Deepa Maharaj, Chairperson at SMASA Regulatory and Technical Committee
Pharmacist Gillian Watson has also offered some important tips about self-medication.
If a pharmacist knows these things they can help you select the safest option.— Gillian Watson, Co-Owner and Pharmacist at M-Kem Pharmacy
- always share important information (such as allergies, current medication or chronic medical conditions)
- listen to and follow to the advice or instructions that a pharmacists gives you
- follow the correct storage and disposal practices for safety purposes
- patients on chronic medication need to stick to their medications
- treat your conditions accordingly and avoid drug abuse or dependence
- live a preventative healthy lifestyle to avoid having to medicate
It's best to take your medication back to the pharmacy where you bought it. All pharmacies should have a contract with a registered disposal company.— Gillian Watson, Co-Owner and Pharmacist at M-Kem Pharmacy
Take a listen: