Why are counterfeit medicines dangerous and how to recognize them?


From a scientific point of view, any medicine is a mixture of substances that is needed for the prevention and treatment of diseases. Every person needs these remedies from time to time: for pain, digestive problems, coughs, and so on.

Recently, American scientists shared disturbing news – it turned out that tens of millions of pills on sale are fake and pose a danger to human health. It is impossible to say their exact number, because there are more and more sellers of counterfeit medicines every day.

In 64.6% of cases, drugs dangerous to health are sold on the Internet, from where 84.6% of people buy them without a prescription. Approximately the same situation is clearly happening in almost all countries, that is, every time we take medicines, we risk our health.

Why are counterfeit medicines dangerous?

The main reason for the danger of counterfeit medicines is that no one can check their quality and safety.

In most cases, the composition of a fake medicine has more active substances than needed. In this case, a person may suffer from an overdose even after taking one tablet.

For example, if someone buys counterfeit paracetamol with a dosage violation, he risks being poisoned in the hospital and even dying. Sounds very scary, doesn’t it?

Who knows what’s going on in underground laboratories?

The medicine produced in the “cellars” is of very low quality. Because of this, the dose of the active substance may fluctuate in each tablet. It turns out that a person can get too strong an effect from one pill, and not feel anything from another.

The effect of counterfeit pills can be unpredictable

Another danger is that counterfeit medicines can contain infections. Firstly, hardly anyone works in masks and gloves in fraudulent laboratories – most likely, sheer unsanitary conditions are going on there. Secondly, who can be sure that scammers will not intentionally add something obviously poisonous to the composition?

Anything can be inside counterfeit medicines

And finally, counterfeit medicines are dangerous because they are often sold without a prescription. Even if they are of good quality and all dosages are strictly observed, a person may suffer due to taking the wrong medicine.

Types of counterfeit drugs

There are several types of counterfeit medicines.

Sometimes “pacifiers” get on sale, in which the active ingredient is replaced with something harmless like chalk and starch. This is the most harmless option – there is no harm from them, as well as good.

The maximum that a person will suffer from is the loss of money and untimely treatment. However, sometimes accidents can happen. For example, if a person takes a “pacifier” during a heart attack.

Sometimes fake medicines cause accidents

The second type of scenario are fake drugs. In this case, scammers replace the active ingredient with something cheaper and less effective. These are the most dangerous copies, because no one can know for sure how a replacement will affect a person’s health.

What drugs are counterfeited most often?

As a rule, most countries are engaged in the production of counterfeit medicines. They make copies of only the most advertised drugs, because they are the most in demand – you can’t make a lot of money on counterfeiting unpopular drugs.

If you need to buy a medicine that is in high demand, be sure to check its authenticity. There are many factors that allow you to distinguish the original drug from a fake.

In some countries, drug advertising on TV is strictly prohibited.

How to distinguish a real medicine from a fake?

The main rule that helps to protect yourself from counterfeiting is the purchase of medicines in specialized places, pharmacies. If the drug is bought on the Internet, you need to make sure that the store is large and has reviews.

If you wandered into a drug store through ads or simply by finding a link in the comments of social networks, you should be wary. Moreover, you can not buy medicines in stalls or on an ad.

Medicines should be bought only in trusted pharmacies

Already purchased drug must be examined. Packaging must be flat and dry – dents may indicate improper transportation and storage. The inscriptions must be clear, the presence of warning signs and words in other languages ​​can also undermine the credibility of the drug. If there are grammatical errors on the box, this is the most obvious sign of a fake medicine!

When buying a medicine, it is important to carefully consider the packaging

The following information must be indicated on the packaging:

  • trade name of the drug;
  • international name (active substance);
  • dosage;
  • the number of tablets in the package;
  • storage and dispensing conditions (by prescription or not);
  • batch number, production date and expiration date;
  • registration number and barcode.

Based on everything written above, we can conclude that sometimes danger can be avoided. Have you ever come across counterfeit medicines? What do you generally think about this? Write in the comment section or our chat.