Self-treatment of diseases: self-medication can be dangerous

While many people trust that the right remedies for colds are natural home remedies such as sage, honey or sweat kines, quite a few will be in the coming autumn with its wet cold weather for complaints such as cough or headachesMedication - and without asking a doctor. According to research, women are far ahead in self-medication. However, health hazards through self-treatment threaten both sexes equally.

Millions of Germans attack over prescription medication in supposedly harmless complaints such as headaches. But this self-medication can be dangerous for patients, warn health experts.(Picture: benjaminnolte /

Frequent use of over-the-counter painkillers
According to a representative Forsa survey commissioned by the AOK Baden-Württemberg, 21 per cent of the Baden-Württemberers use at least once a month to prescription-free painkillers - three per cent even at leastonce a week.

"In this way, prescription-free painkillers can lead to serious side effects," the health insurance company writes in a statement.

The most common health risks from pain killers are mucosal inflammations, ulcers or bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract.

In addition, such drugs could significantly increase the risk of myocardial infarction, according to researchers in a study.

Experts Warn Against Careless Self-Treatment
Health experts warn against careless self-treatment. For example, Josef Kammermeier, vice-chairman of the Bavarian Association of Pharmacists( BAV), said: "Self-medication without consultation or a blind order in other sales channels can be dangerous."

According to him, pharmacists would play a role as a "filter","

Headache is a domain of self-medication
Even in the multi-day German pain congress, which begins on October 11th in Mannheim, the participants will deal with topics such as self-medication - the treatment of complaints,

"Headaches are unfortunately still a domain of self-medication," explained the President of the German Migraine and Headache Society( DMKG), Privatdozentin Stefanie Förderreuther from the hospital center of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität( LMU) Munich, in a communication from the German pain society.

As it is said, most people therefore rely on home remedies for headaches or over-the-counter painkillers from the pharmacy. A total of ten percent stated in a DMKG survey that they should turn to a healing practitioner for headaches.

The results of the survey are to be presented at the press conference on the German Pain Congress 2017.

"I wish Congress to have the message that pain can be treated well," said Dr. Förderreuther according to dpa.

It is dangerous when chronic pain threatens to become."At the latest you should be helped. Pain changes human nature and has an influence on family and work, "said the doctor.

Good Business for Pharmacone Drugs
According to estimates, every German says about 50 Euro per year for self-medication. Of course pharmacists have long since recognized the trend towards self-sufficiency against complaints such as coryza, cough and hoarseness.

The business with non-prescription, analgesic drugs is booming. Doctors also contribute to this. For example, last year ABDA - German Association of German Pharmacists' Associations reported that doctors prescribed around 20 million prescription - free remedies for children alone.

According to Kammermeier from the Bavarian Association of Pharmacists, it might be quite attractive from the perspective of health insurance funds to transfer more tasks to pharmacists.

"The importance of self-medication has increased since most prescription-free medicines from the pharmacy are no longer reimbursed by the health insurance companies but have to be paid by the patients themselves," the expert said according to dpa.

However, prescription does not mean harmless."As with any other effective drug, painkillers can also have side effects and lead to complications," explained Jan Paulus, physician with the AOK Baden-Wuerttemberg.

"To avoid unwanted effects, it is important to pay attention to the correct application. This is particularly true for people who have certain pre-existing conditions or who are more likely to use painkillers. "

Treat pain naturally
At the expert congress in Mannheim, the experts will deal with headache in particular with the people's disease.

"Many scholars complain about all types of these complaints, but tension headache is something completely different from migraine," declared Förderreuther against the German Press Agency.

In case of frequent headaches, patients are strongly advised to consult a doctor."This prevents the pain from becoming chronic. There are also good ways of prevention. Overall, this can significantly improve the quality of life. "However,

drugs are not the only treatment option. President of the Congress, Professor Matthias Keidel, head physician at the campus in Bad Neustadt / Saale, referred to the non-medicinal therapies as "Relaxation procedures like the progressive muscle relaxation according to Jacobson, Ausdauersport and different kinds of biofeedback as well as the cognitive behavioral therapy can help to get the headache under control."

Also BAV deputy Kammermeier explained in the dpa report that one does not always have to go to drugs with headache:" Here can also help movement, a cold washcloth, fluid, a pressure massage or peppermint. "(Ad)

Self-medication in the case of complaints: Experts warn against light-hearted self-treatment
Many people quickly reach for medicines, especially in the case of supposedly harmless diseases such as a cold. However, health experts warn against careless self-treatment. Self-medication without medical advice can be dangerous for the patients.

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