News & EventsCovid 19Self-Prescribed Covid Medication: Biting a Bullet Was Safer

Self-Prescribed Covid Medication: Biting a Bullet Was Safer


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It was during the surge of Covid cases when nursing homes and hospitals got flooded with covid patients. Although what came as unforeseen trouble, rather a challenge, was the unusual complications these patients suffered from. 

When the medical practitioners and authorities looked deeper into the reason that encouraged these cases, they concluded that most of these patients had been consuming medications that they had not been prescribed by a licensed doctor, instead, they had looked it up on the internet and self-prescribed. 

During the surge of the pandemic, there were several drugs that had been in the news for their use in the treatment of Coronavirus infection. Drugs like Ivermectin, Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, etc, were being prescribed by physicians to their patients, based on the severity of their infection. 

When patients who weren’t suited to these drugs or did not require them, consumed them, they suffered from severe side effects. In several cases, the patients kept consuming these drugs after they were diagnosed with Corona and instead of going to the doctor, they stayed at home. Consuming some of these drugs did not actually cure the infection, instead, it suppressed the symptoms. 

The symptoms went unnoticed, while the infection worsened. This led to the deteriorating health conditions of the patients. When finally the symptoms showed up, they pushed the patient’s health to an edge, against the corner, and in some cases, hanging by a fine thread.

How does self-prescribed medication affect you?

Image Credit: verywellhealth

An expert physician practicing medicine at a leading hospital in the metropolitan city of Delhi shared a case study to explain better how unprescribed medicine can take a toll on the health of a person and deteriorate it worse than just causing some side effects.

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A 38-year-old man had to return to his workspace after almost 5 months of quarantine. He had an 11-year-old daughter at home. He kept worrying that if he went out to work, he might catch an infection and pass it on to his daughter. He wanted a way out, a solution that could let him work and at the same time, protect her daughter against Covid. 

On the news, he saw a drug called hydroxychloroquine. Almost every news channel talked about how it was a useful drug and was being used by doctors to treat the coronavirus infection. The man thought maybe if he consumed the medicine, he could cure corona without having to visit the doctor.

He started taking hydroxychloroquine tablets. He managed to get four packets of them with the help of one of his doctor friends. After almost a month of consuming these tablets, he suffered from arrhythmia. Arrhythmia is a condition in which the rhythm of the cardiac sinus becomes irregular and interrupts the proper functioning of the heart. This was suggested to be one of the side effects that his body had suffered due to the unprescribed consumption of hydroxychloroquine.

What are the side effects of these medicines?

Medicines like hydroxychloroquine were recommended by the advisory committee of the Uttar Pradesh government for people who spent time around patients of covid 19. Hydroxychloroquine has been a well-tested medicine that has long been in use to treat conditions like rheumatologic and dermatologic infections. It was also being largely used during the pandemic to treat coronavirus.

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However, there was never enough data to stand in support of the efficacy of this medicine. Most researchers and even doctors called its success anecdotal. In some patients, it successfully scraped out the infection, while in some it caused side effects more than it helped to improve the infection. Some of its major side effects were gastrointestinal disorders, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, skin rash, headache, dizziness, and ocular toxicity. 

Some patients suffered a huge toll on their eyesight, due to the consumption of this medicine. Hydroxychloroquine was noticed to primarily affect the functions and structure of the cornea, ciliary body, and retina of the eyes. It also caused significant damage to the hearts of some patients and made them suffer from arrhythmia, bronchospasm, angioedema, and seizures. 

Some other side effects:

covid 19
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Coronavirus infection was also accompanied by symptoms such as fever, sudden rise in body temperature, etc. Patients refrain from visiting a doctor and instead get medicine either unprescribed or from someone who isn’t licensed to practice medicine.  

A person who consumes two tablets of paracetamol a day for 3 months has plenty of chances of suffering from liver or kidney disease. Ivermectin was another medicine that was taken to fight cold, cough, and fever. During the pandemic, the demand for these medicines surged abruptly. 

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Which Medicines can one Take without Prescription?

vitamin c tablets
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There were several medicines that were prescribed by WHO and the health ministry of India, to be taken during the pandemic. Giloy, multivitamins, and vitamin C were some medicines that worked to boost one’s immunity and therefore protect people against the coronavirus infection, naturally. 

Vitamin C tablets are available in the market in medical stores under various brand names. These can be purchased without a doctor’s prescription. Similarly, various pharmaceuticals produce multivitamin tablets that do not require you to have a doctor’s prescription to purchase them. Giloy is usually sold as a bottle juice and can be consumed with equal parts of water. It not only boosts immunity but also keeps the digestive system healthy. 


During the covid-19 pandemic, there was a surge in the sales of several medicines like Chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin, etc. People turned to these medicines without a prescription from a licensed doctor, and suffered huge side effects on their health, due to these medicines. Some suffered from arrhythmia while some suffered from renal and hepatic failures. 

There were several medicines that were prescribed by the Health Ministry of India and WHO, to boost people’s immunity naturally. These medicines included Vitamin C tablets, multivitamin tablets, Giloy, etc. All of these can be purchased from any of your nearest medical stores, without having them prescribed from a licensed doctor.

One must refrain from taking any kind of unprescribed medication unless the Health Ministry or the WHO itself has suggested it. 


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