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4 Fundamental rules for using over-the-counter medicines with responsibility

4 Fundamental rules for using over-the-counter medicines with responsibility

Having a healthier life depends of many factors. We can talk about a more balanced diet, regular practice of physical exercises, social interaction with loved ones and more. But it is important to note that they all depend, first and foremost, on a single person: yourself. The power to change and transform one's life is something that is in our hands and can be achieved through self-care measures, when we take responsibility for our health, with attention and total disposition.

Self-care is a concept established by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is associated with an active and responsible attitude towards health itself. It is when we engage in the cultivation of well-being, physical and emotional, and in the prevention of diseases and other health problems. Self-care provided by WHO as a right for all of us is supported by various associations in the world. In Brazil, the initiative is supported by ABIMIP (Brazilian Association of the Prescription Drug Industry).

The initiative to take care of itself has seven main pillars, according to WHO. They are:

  • Being well informed about health
  • Being aware of one's own physical and mental conditions
  • Doing physical activities
  • Having a healthy diet
  • Avoiding health risks
  • Having good eating habits hygiene
  • Using prescription-only medicines in a responsible way

For this last act of self-care, there is an important ally: prescription-only medicines (MIPs), medicines that can be marketed without a prescription. > Although one of the most important pillars of self-care is related to disease prevention, we are not always totally immune to them, especially at times when the body is susceptible to changes in the external environment, such as seasonal changes, and other situations. In the summer, skin problems arise, such as mycosis, and food poisoning; in autumn and winter, it is the turn of colds, colds and respiratory allergies. These are relatively common health problems, which you've probably had to face in life. This is where prescription drugs come in.

MIPs are indicated to treat mild symptoms and illness. They are safe and effective medicines, approved by the health authorities, and are part of a responsible routine of self-care. In addition to flu and colds, MIPs can help relieve conditions such as heartburn, headache, cold sores, hemorrhoids, fever, sore throat, nasal congestion, constipation, and others. This measure improves the quality of life and brings more comfort to the patient.

The use of IPMs should be guided by responsibility, as in the case of any other medication. We list, below, the 4 main rules for taking care of health in a safe and autonomous way, with the help of these medicines and other interventions. Keep this in mind and practice self-care every day:

1. Caring

Being in tune with your body is knowing knowing when something is not going as well as it should. In day-to-day running, we can let some signals go unnoticed, which can become a problem in the future. Some of these symptoms are already known or have been diagnosed at some point in life, such as body aches, heartburn, thrush, sore throat, nasal congestion, constipation, for example. They are milder symptoms and health problems, which can be treated quickly and safely, especially when identified at the beginning.

2. Choose

If you have already identified and know the problem, it is time to seek treatment to overcome the discomfort and continue living your routine with quality and disposition. In the case of mild symptoms and illnesses, such as those mentioned above, you can choose a prescription drug. These medicines do not require prescription because they are safe and effective in the treatment of diseases already known and diagnosed, provided they are used in accordance with the package leaflet and labeling guidelines. At this time, have the help of a pharmacist.

3. Reading

Information is never too much, especially when it comes to self-care. Therefore, it is indispensable to carefully read the package leaflet and the label of the medicines used to treat some discomfort or uncomfortable symptom, even if they are exempt from medical prescription. That way, you can understand how the drug can work in the body, whether there is any component that can cause allergy or adverse reaction, side effects and other details that make all the difference to health.

4. Stop

Caution, discovery, choice and information. These are important details in anyone's self-care routine. After all this, one must be attentive to the reactions of the organism, mainly with the use of medicines. If the symptoms persist, worsen or come with acute pain and other unwanted reactions, it is essential to stop the medication and seek medical attention.

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