Medical experts have cautioned Nigerians against taking hypertension medications without getting a prescription from a doctor.
According to the experts, it is dangerous for people diagnosed with hypertension to take drugs that are not prescribed for them.
The physicians also said it is risky for people to ignore their medications when diagnosed with hypertension.
The experts stated this during separate interviews with PUNCH HealthWise, stressing that people suffering from hypertension should only take medicines prescribed for them by their doctors.
Dr. Michael Ajala, a Consultant Pathologist, told our correspondent that hypertensive patients should avoid taking herbs and supplements because some of them have addictive properties.
Dr. Ajala, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Help Diagnostics and Checkup Services, Lagos, said those diagnosed with hypertension must avoid self-medication.
The pathologist said, “Don’t share drugs with friends and family members.”
“When you are taking antihypertensive drugs, don’t take herbs and supplements.”
“When you are taking antihypertensive drugs, please don’t take herbs or some other supplements because some of these things have addictive actions that may be damaging and that will be bad for the health status of whoever is taking them.
“There are a lot of them on the internet, but the question is, have they been tried in proper trials? Some of them will even claim that they are NAFDAC-approved when they are not”.
The Mayo Clinic says herbal supplements aren’t necessarily safe just because they’re natural.
It warned that people should avoid supplements that may interfere with blood pressure medication.
“Check with your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.” “You may need to avoid supplements that raise your blood pressure or interfere with your blood pressure medications,” the clinic cautioned.
The Ajala noted that high blood pressure affects many organs of the body and causes impaired vision.
The physician added, “It is very dangerous for people to go and buy antihypertensive drugs without a doctor’s prescription because they saw their friends taking them.
“Doctors make you do some tests; based on these tests, apart from the blood pressure measurement, they then offer a solution in the drugs.”
“So, you don’t take drugs that are not prescribed for you, especially for hypertension, as they can kill just like that.”
“There is nothing like my friend is taking it, so I can take it,” he said.
Dr. Ajala also said that skipping hypertensive drugs has a lot of disadvantages, warning that it causes a lot of cardiovascular damage.
He urged Nigerians to have regular blood pressure checks and work with their doctor when diagnosed with hypertension.
A general physician, Dr. Oyinkansola Taiwo, said hypertension is a public health problem that should not be handled with kid gloves.
“Hypertension is a public health problem that we need to spend our time tackling.”
“For hypertension, awareness is key.” We have to let our people know that hypertension is something that can be managed. We have to let them know that once they start using their medication, that is not the end.
“Most people that we see, once they start using their medication, then they stop using it.”
She also counseled people with hypertension to reduce salt in their diet and avoid energy drinks.