Over the counter drugs, herbal medicines endanger the Kidney-Nephrologist warns

On the occasion of World Kidney Day, a nephrologist is reminding Nigerians of the dangers posed by taking unprescribed medications.

Drugs and medications not prescribed by doctors or pharmacists are known as over the counter drugs. These and herbal medicines are potential dangers to the kidneys.

Dr. Ameh Abdul, a nephrologist at Garki Hospital Abuja stated on Thursday in an interview that a lot of people, out of ignorance believe that herbal medication could cure diseases, however in the long run, it affects the organ negatively. This, according to him, is because the herbal medications are not dose controlled and are in their unrefined form.

“I know some people may argue that some of the medications they take are made from herbs, but these medications have gone through the lab and have been scientifically purified and dozed in adequate proportions.

“But with herbal medication, nobody knows any adequate doses, they just gulp it the way they see it and then it goes on to damage the kidney,” he said.

He equally explained that the same thing goes for drugs being purchased over the counter, as most of these drugs, especially antibiotics have been implicated as toxic to the kidneys.

READ ALSO: Celebrating World Kidney Day: The unsung heroes of our bodies

“Notorious among those antibiotics is a drug called gentamicin. A Lot of drugs that we see have renal doses that only doctors can prescribe the quantity to be taken. So to self-medicate is another very dangerous practice that has caused a lot of kidney diseases,” Dr. Abdul maintained.

The health expert, who decried the rate at which people come down with kidney disease, attributed the cause to diabetes, hypertension among many others, stating that late presentation to the hospital worsens the condition.

He warned that though patients do not usually show specific symptoms, still, over time, they display non-specific symptoms such as getting tired easily, having difficulty controlling blood pressure and their urine becoming more frothy, among other symptoms.

“When you see individuals always going to the hospital, and are always complaining of feeling unwell, feeling tired, having malaise, getting tired easily, such individuals might be suffering from kidney disease and we just need to check,” he said.

To prevent the condition, he said,“keeping the blood pressure and blood sugar under control, eating healthy diet, and seeking a professional counsel when symptoms starts developing and to running to a chemist to buy medicine because you feel they will quickly attend to you, as it is better to wait in the queue for a doctor than to use your money to buy what will destroy you.”

While advising people to ensure proper health hygiene, Dr. Abdul emphasized the need to always stay dehydrated by drinking three liters of water everyday.

World Kidney day is observed on the second Thursday in March, every year to create awareness about the importance of healthy kidneys and how one can maintain the organ to prevent kidney related diseases.

The theme for this year’s World Kidney Day 2024 is “Kidney Health for All – Advancing Equitable Access to Care and Optimal Medication Practice”, which highlights the importance of access to quality kidney care, including early detection, prevention and treatment options.

It also underscores the need for proper medication use and management.

CREDIBLE NEWS reports that to mark the day, Garki Hospital organized a free medical urinalysis test, blood pressure test and free consultation for patients in the city.

Credible News.ng

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