Irrational use of medicines

Irrational use of medicines

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As the availability of modern medicine has increased, there is an increase in the misuse of medicines.  This misuse may be in the form of overprescribing, multi-drug prescribing, use of unnecessary expensive drugs, self-medication, and overuse of antibiotics and injections have started. Thus, medications are starting to be misused. Irrational use of medicines is a worldwide problem. It is projected by the WHO that more than half of all drugs are given, dispensed or sold unsuitable, and that half of all patients fail to take them correctly? The overuse, underuse or misuse of medicines results in health problems. As per the WHO (1985), the definition of the rational use of medicines – “Patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements, for an adequate period of time, and at the lowest cost to them and their community”. But in today’s scenario, the use of drugs is not limited as prescribed by the physician but the patients have started to take the medicines as per their convenience. People do not follow the guidelines given by the physician. The overuse or use of the drug without the consent of the physician is common. The use of antibiotics without the consent of physician has increased. This has led to multiple problems among the patients. The resistance of the microorganism toward the drug has increased. The patients do not follow the drug dosage regimen given by the patient. They take medicines as per their convenience. Even stoppage of drug therapy in between is also common. This has led to the incomplete cure of the disease and even when the antibiotics are used next time, the patient does not respond to the drug.

 It concerns particularly the use and prescription of antibiotics, antidiarrheals, painkillers, injections and cough and cold preparations. The number of drugs per prescription is often more than needed.

There are several reasons which contribute to the irrational use of drugs in India such as Lack of knowledge, Poor communication among physicians & patients, demand from the patient, faulty drug supply system & unproductive drug regulation and promotional activities of pharmaceutical industries. The solution to this problem lies in Public education about medicines



Mr. Vinod Ghalot

Assistant Professor 

SGT College of pharmacy

SGT University Gurugram

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