When you visit the doctor, it is natural to think that he or she has your best interest in mind. Yet when it comes to correctly prescribing medications, that is not consistently the case.
While physicians play a necessary role in your medical care, the excessive prescription of medications can pose significant risks to your health.
Overprescribing occurs when your doctor gives you medications in quantities or for durations that surpass your actual medical needs. Unnecessarily high doses or excessive frequency of doses are common examples. Prescribing multiple medications that serve similar purposes also constitutes overprescription.
How it happens
In today’s fast-paced healthcare environment, doctors often prescribe medications as a quick solution to address symptoms. Physicians do not have, or take, the time to thoroughly explore the most beneficial approaches for your situation.
Drug companies also play a role by offering incentives, which may influence what and how much medication doctors prescribe. A 2020 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine noted a consistent association between pharmaceutical industry payments and physician prescribing.
Overprescription increases your risk of adverse side effects and complications. You can become resistant to some medications, making further treatment difficult. You may also experience harmful drug interactions that result in serious conditions
Relief and recovery from your initial symptoms are sometimes delayed due to medications working at cross purposes. On top of all this, your risk of dependency increases when you take more medication than you need.
Although you have little choice but to rely on medical expertise, even the doctors you trust may put you in harm’s way by overprescribing medications.