A physician, Christy Okoromah, says Nigerians should avoid self-medication as some of the elements included in drug products can endanger the heart.

Okoromah, head of pediatric cardiology and infectious disease unit, University of Lagos, said this in furtherance of the World Hypertension Day.

She told NAN that a lot of the drugs Nigerians buy over the counter and consume can cause persistent hypertension.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common condition where the long term force of the blood against a person’s artery wall is so high that it may eventually cause heart problems.

“There are many drugs Nigerians and the general public just buy over the counter and consume without realising that it can cause persistent hypertension,” he said.

“(Take a thing) like acetaminophen, which is contained in panadol, paracetamol (for example).

“Drugs must not be taken carelessly, people buy steroids, they give to asthmatics; it can also cause hypertension.

“Ibuprofen; oral contraceptives that contain estrogen and progesterone can also cause hypertension.

“I want to emphasise children can also have hypertension, but unfortunately we are not looking out for that.

“Many people wonder what children have to do with hypertension.

“We are not looking out for it, even in hospitals we are not doing it properly; these are some of the things that we need to change.”

Okoromah, consultant and director, medical education development unit of the university, said there is a need to raise awareness “regarding the fact that we need to be monitoring and measuring blood pressure in children properly”.

“It’s not just enough to measure, get a value systolic, diastolic; because in children, you have to interpret it using their height and their age.”

Self-medication is a situation when an individual uses a substance or any exogenous influence to self-administer treatment for physical or psychological ailments.

The most widely self-medicated substances are over-the-counter drugs which do not require a doctor prescription to obtain and are available in convenience stores.



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