Experts warn against taking medical advice from internet

Experts warn against taking medical advice from internet

Medical experts have warned Nigerians not to take medical advice from the internet, warning that many health reports posted online are not backed by scientific evidence.

The experts noted that it is very risky to make health care decisions based on information obtained from a Google search on the Internet or social media posts without consulting doctors trained to diagnose and treat health conditions, and note that those who participate in such habits take serious health risks.

According to the experts, only medical doctors are trained to give medical advice as well as to diagnose and treat health conditions.

The medical doctors, they said, perform evidence-based actions on patients before prescribing treatments, stressing that online reports cannot replace the duty and obligations of medical experts.

Speaking to PUNCH HealthWise, the experts, the Director of Public Health in Ogun State, Dr. Festus Soyinka, and a medical doctor, Dr. David Ogunsaya noted that treatments and prescriptions by medical experts are always supported by clinical and scientific evidence.

Dr. Ogunsanya explained that many people do not know that some ailments that have the same symptoms are completely different and cannot be treated with the same medication or in the same way.

Dr. Ogunsanya emphasized that it would be difficult for patients to distinguish these health conditions simply by looking at symptoms, especially when they strictly depend on articles published online for guidance without consulting a doctor.

He also said that some drugs have serious side effects and should not be used without proper medical guidance and diagnosis that only a physician is trained to ensure.

He said: ‘There is a reason why we go to doctors for health care. Doctors are the experts, and patients are not. After patients have looked up their symptoms or assumed they have a particular condition, they can take it a step further by trying to treat themselves on their own. One way they can do this is by taking over-the-counter medicine or trying a home treatment to help whatever problem they think they are suffering from.

“Taking ineffective medicine or more medicine than necessary will not solve anything. People will suffer from the same ailments unless they take the necessary medication. In some cases, using the wrong medicine can even worsen conditions or cause greater problems.

“Individuals should talk to a doctor if they do not know what their symptoms mean. And they should always consult their doctors before taking any medicine they don’t normally take. This is even more necessary if they are already taking other medicines.

“Some drugs have negative reactions in combination with each other. Therefore, only a doctor can inform a patient that a medication is safe for them.”

• To continue reading this story, go to:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *