Even after finding reliable, truthful health or medical information on the Internet, it is important to go to your health care provider to discuss your disease or condition and the information you have found before you take steps to treat yourself. This is important for several reasons:
• Not all diseases and symptoms need medical treatment. You may be taking medicines or using medical products unnecessarily and exposing yourself to an unnecessary risk.
• Many medications or other medical products may cause harm if they are used improperly. It is important to be under the care of a health care professional when using such products.
• Appropriate medication or appropriate medical treatment for your disease or symptoms is important to your health. Not every medication is appropriate for everyone. For example, some individuals may be allergic to certain medications. A health care professional can help you to determine the best medicine or treatment for your disease or condition.
• A health care professional can provide guidance on how best to take your medication safely. For example, the effectiveness of some medications may be influenced by other products, such as other medications, alcohol or certain foods. Mixing your medication with these other products could strengthen or weaken the effect of the medication or cause an adverse reaction. This could be dangerous to your health or, at the least, interfere with your timely recovery.
• Patients with particular characteristics, such as pregnant or breast-feeding women, the elderly and children, have special concerns, needs and considerations when taking medication or using medical products. In particular, a number of medications are specifically known to cause harm to unborn children, so that pregnant women should be sure to consult a health care professional before self-treatment.
• Any time you take medication or use a medical product it is important to inform your health care professional of any side-effects you may experience when using the product. By going through your health care professional for treatment, you can make sure that he or she will be better prepared to advise you or change the treatment if you do have an adverse reaction to a product.
• By ordering medical products through the Internet you may deprive yourself of the opportunity for personal, professional care and advice from your doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.