More and more people are risking their lives by buying medication online before visiting their family doctor.
The number of prescriptions issued by online pharmacies has doubled in two years, from 26 million in 2019 to 53 million.
Reputable websites help ease the burden on the main pharmacies.
However, with patients struggling to see a GP, many turn to Google and do a self-diagnosis before buying online.
Professor Kamila Hawthorne, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, told the Sun on Sunday Health: “Buying prescription drugs online without seeking the advice of a qualified professional about their risks and benefits – and whether they might interact with other drugs – is a real one threat.” to patient safety.”
“Sun on Sunday” doctor Jeff Foster said some drugs are prescribed after a short online questionnaire, without contacting the patient’s GP – or checking whether the patient is even telling the truth.
He said: “We have doctors and pharmacists for a reason, and medicines should never be bought through an online questionnaire.”
“A disclaimer that says, ‘We told you to be careful,’ is chilling.”
“Without knowing your patient and having a complete picture of their medical history, risk factors, underlying medical conditions and lifestyle habits, many of these drugs can put patients’ lives at risk.”
The situation is so dire that the General Pharmaceutical Council has issued a safety alert. Some online pharmacies distribute warning drugs without proper supervision.
Prof Hawthorne added: “Before starting any new drug, patients should first consult their GP or a healthcare professional who is able to consider physical, psychological and social factors before deciding on the appropriate treatment.”
“We will consider different treatment options for each patient and only recommend medications that meet their individual health needs.”
dr Jeff reveals the top drugs to buy online today and the risks of getting it wrong. . .
Men who are ashamed of their symptoms often buy Viagra online without finding out why the erectile dysfunction has occurred.
It can be anxiety, low testosterone, or even narrowing of the arteries.
Risk: If the arteries are narrowed, it takes an average of three years before a heart attack or stroke occurs.
Therefore, proper oversight is crucial.
Drugs such as zopiclone, zolpidem, diazepam and temazepam are popular.
But primary care physicians find out about pre-existing conditions, other medications and risks such as alcohol consumption and obesity before prescribing and then monitor them afterwards.
Risk: Taking in high doses or for long periods of time can cause dependence, sedation, and even respiratory failure or death.
Hair loss medication
You can buy all sorts of drugs that claim to treat hair loss in men, but only a few actually work.
Minoxidil is a topical foam or spray, and finasteride is a prescription drug that can also be used in higher doses to treat benign large prostates.
Risk: Finasteride can lead to sexual problems, including impotence, if misprescribed.
Many online patients are not warned of this risk.
INJECTABLE WEIGHT LOSS
Originally Saxenda and Wegovy were used to treat type 2 diabetes, but their use as weight loss agents has exploded.
They affect the hormones that trigger satiety, and many consumers say their cravings for overeating go away.
Risk: People of normal weight are accessing this medicine online, which is worrying.
People with eating disorders could become seriously ill without professional supervision.
A main treatment for ADHD — stimulants like methylphenidate, dexamfetamine, atomoxetine, and guanfacine — are typically prescribed to increase alertness, alertness, and energy.
Due to long waits in the NHS and inappropriate requests for an ADHD diagnosis, many people are turning to trial medications online.
Risk: These drugs need to be closely monitored because they put a lot of strain on the heart and can lead to fast or irregular heartbeats, high blood pressure, and even heart failure.
While opiate pain relievers like codeine and co-codamol are effective for short-term pain control, the long-term benefit is minimal.
But of necessity, tighter NHS prescriptions have prompted people to turn to the internet.
Risk: Opioids are highly addictive and our bodies get used to them, so we need more to feel the same effects.
They cause respiratory depression and slow breathing.
They slow down the reaction time and make us sluggish.
The risk increases enormously when it is taken with other drugs or alcohol.