Malaria is a potentially fatal disease. It is caused by a parasite that infects a specific type of mosquito that feeds on humans. Malaria typically causes severe illness, including high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like symptoms. Since there may be patients who do not have access to physicians for treatment, it can lead to an increase in the use of non-prescribed anti-malarial drugs. This article focuses on the concept of self-medication, the risks associated with non-prescribed antimalarials, and the proper way to treat the condition.
What precisely is self-medication?
Self-medication is the consumption of drugs to treat self-identified disorders or symptoms without consulting a doctor. It also refers to the continuous use of a drug for chronic or recurring diseases or symptoms without consulting a physician. Self-medication is widely practiced throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. The risks of self-medication can result in misdiagnosis and incorrect drug selection, delays in seeking appropriate treatments, use of excessive drugs or lower dosages, and prolonged use.
Self-medication is different from preventive home remedies. Preventive home management is the provision of treatment in the home by formal or informal caregivers, such as preventive home-based malaria management, as opposed to treatment provided at a recognized healthcare facility.
Is it possible to obtain malaria medication without a prescription?
You should not purchase antimalarials without a prescription. Ideally, only a doctor should treat malaria. Using unprescribed anti-malarial drugs can result in treatment failure and development of drug-resistant parasites. Patients typically use non-prescribed anti-malarial medications due to a lack of access to health care, high cost of treatment in health care, and the proper access to health workers. Inaccurate self-medication with anti-malarial drugs can contribute to serious consequences.
How should malaria be addressed?
Only a licensed physician should treat Malaria. Patients should provide a detailed history of fever or travel to a malaria-endemic country. Once the condition has been identified through appropriate testing, the doctors will begin anti-malarial and supportive treatment. The therapeutic and prognostic implications depend on whether it is life-threatening falciparum or non-falciparum malarial infection. Additionally, patients should be aware that severe malaria manifestations necessitate an increased level of care or referral to a specialized unit.
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