The Benefits and Risks of Self-medication. (WHO Drug Information Vol. 14, No. 1, 2000)
(2000; 2 pages)

Abstract

It is widely accepted that self-medication has an important role to play in health care and, with the continued improvement in people's education, general knowledge and socio-economic status, selfmedication has been successfully integrated into many health care systems throughout the world.

Self-medication products are those not requiring a medical prescription and which are produced, distributed and sold to consumers for use on their own initiative. Responsible self-medication can be used to prevent and treat symptoms and ailments that do not need medical consultation or oversight.

This reduces pressure on medical services, especially when these are limited. For those populations living in rural or remote areas where access to medical services may be difficult, patients are able to control their own conditions to a greater extent.

Only if the condition fails to respond, persists, or becomes more severe will the patient need to seek professional medical care.

 
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