Potential risks, hazards from traditional medicine without doctor’s prescription

Recently, several hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City have recorded many cases of people being hospitalized due to the use of herbal medicines of unknown origin, even severe poisoning. Doctors recommended that patients do not arbitrarily buy and use traditional medicines without a doctor’s prescription, otherwise, it will seriously affect their health.
Potential risks, hazards from traditional medicine without doctor’s prescription ảnh 1 Illustrative photo
On the first day of April, the Department of Andrology of HCMC-based Binh Dan Hospital received a 42 years old man in Go Vap District who was hospitalized with an erection with severe pain.
Doctors have asked for his medical history discovering that because the remarried man has suffered erectile dysfunction, the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex for about five months. Listening to friends’ advice, he has bought traditional medicine to soak in alcohol to improve his sexual health.
However, after drinking three times soaking alcohol still had no effect, the patient continued to use it with an increased dose and was hospitalized with an erection and painful penis. Doctor Mai Ba Tien Dung, Head of the Department of Orthopedics at Binh Dan Hospital, said that immediately upon receipt, the doctors performed emergency treatment employing cavernous aspiration, creating blood vessels to relieve blood pressure in the cavernous sinus, but the prognosis of cavernous fibrosis and erectile dysfunction of the patient will be more severe.
The Department of Poison Control of Cho Ray Hospital has also received a male patient in the Central - Highlands Province of Dak Lak with symptoms of rough, scaly skin, darkening and yellowing of the skin after a long time of taking many traditional medicines to increase vitality and cure hepatitis. The male patient was one of the hundreds of patients who had recently been diagnosed with traditional medicine poisoning at Cho Ray Hospital.
The common point of the patients is that they have acute liver failure, hepatomegaly, cholestasis causing jaundice, yellow eyes, rough skin, and darkening of the skin. Some people have prolonged diarrhea-causing chronic enteritis and protein loss through the intestines. There are more severe cases, of damage to many different organs at the same time, such as acute heart failure, acute kidney failure, and acute hepatitis.
Statistics from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City, 115 People's Hospital, Gia Dinh People's Hospital, since the beginning of the year, these infirmaries have treated dozens of cases of poisoning with traditional medicines since the beginning of the year.
There are many cases of lactic acidosis (accumulation of excess lactic acid in the blood) due to the use of traditional medicines for diabetes, osteoarthritis, and such of unknown origin, containing the substance phenformin which is banned worldwide and in Vietnam.
According to Dr. Pham Ngoc Thac from the Faculty of Hospital of Pharmacy and Traditional Medicine in Ho Chi Minh City, there are many objective and subjective reasons, for poisoning problems with traditional medicines, leading to life-threatening danger. A patient self-medicates by reading books and information on social networks to buy the remedies.
Another reason is that they are told about an effective medicine.
Deputy Director and Head of Pharmacy Department of Ho Chi Minh City Traditional Medicine Hospital Nguyen Phuong Nam recommended that patients should strictly follow the instructions of a doctor. While taking herbal medicine, if patients feel their health condition is worse, they must stop the drug immediately and report it to the doctor for timely treatment.

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