UAE doctors warn against buying medicines online due to significant health risks

Omar Abbas - | Mix

The trend of selling medicines and nutritional supplements through websites and social media has seen a significant rise recently.

Additionally, herbal mixtures with misleading medical claims are advertised using paid services to reach a larger audience.

Dangers of Unsupervised Purchases

Specialized doctors warn against buying medicinal products from unauthorized sources to avoid health complications that could pose serious risks to users. These products often cause more harm than good and are unsafe without medical supervision. The use of such products can lead to severe liver or kidney damage, as the effects of medications vary between individuals. Therefore, medicines should only be taken under medical supervision after appropriate tests to ensure their suitability for the individual.

Dr. Adel Saeed Sajwani, a family and community medicine specialist at Mediclinic Park View Hospital in Dubai, emphasized that most medications affect the liver and kidneys. Using any medical product without supervision can harm these organs. He stressed the importance of basing medical treatments on evidence and studies. Unlike conventional medicine, much of alternative medicine lacks scientific backing. Just because a product benefits one person does not mean it is safe or effective for others. Extensive studies and trials are necessary to determine the potential side effects and efficacy of any therapeutic product.

Dr. Sajwani pointed out that many individuals who developed kidney diseases and other health issues were later found to have used herbal products or untested items. He urged reliance only on products approved by local and international health authorities. Medical specialization is crucial when choosing treatments, as each branch requires years of study. Non-specialists should not be relied upon for medical treatments.

Dr. Majed Sharab, a family medicine specialist at Tadawi Hospital in Dubai, noted the increasing offers to sell medicines and supplements on social media. He warned against purchasing these products without official prescriptions and medical supervision. Many of these products, particularly those for weight loss and vitamin deficiencies, are unsafe without medical oversight due to their potential harmful effects and complications. Dr. Sharab criticized the trade of medicines through the internet as it capitalizes on patients' diseases and pain. These products often reach buyers at home without proper knowledge of the seller, the product's source, or compliance with specifications. This trade in unregulated medicines poses significant risks to patients.

Dr. Saif Darwish, a consultant in community medicine and public health, highlighted that most pharmaceutical products sold online are unlicensed and illegal. They often do more harm than good, targeting buyers' hopes for recovery without ensuring the products' safety for specific groups. Many patients gamble with their health by purchasing from unlicensed sources, believing they might achieve desired results. Dr. Darwish explained that strict requirements and conditions are necessary for any medicine to be approved for sale, ensuring the safety of the product regarding storage and transportation. These standards reflect the product's price and quality. Patients should question the availability of these safety requirements when buying medical products online.

Risks of Unregulated Medicines

Online purchases of illegal medications can damage many organs and may include hazardous materials that cause life-threatening conditions like liver and kidney failure. To stop pharmaceutical fraud, which is rampant online, it is essential to purchase medications and supplements from authorized pharmacies.

Dr. Mansour Anwar, a consultant in family medicine and occupational health, stated that buying prescriptions and mixtures online poses significant risks. He has treated patients with health issues caused by products obtained from social networking sites. Patients with chronic diseases are particularly vulnerable to complications from these products, and sellers are responsible for misleading claims that endanger users' lives. The increase in online sales of medicines and supplements is fraught with dangers. Health professionals strongly advise purchasing only from licensed sources to ensure safety and efficacy.

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Omar Abbas
Omar Abbas
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