Here are 5 self-prescribed drugs that Nigerians overuse

Caption here (Zita Amwanga, GPJ Democratic Republic of Congo)

Here are 5 self-prescribed drugs that Nigerians overuse

These drugs have been overused and abused by Nigerians.

The self-prescription game is one that we Nigerians are all too familiar with.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It’s like we have an honorary medical degree, diagnosing every little ailment as malaria or typhoid.

And don’t even get me started on Nigerian mums. They’re the ultimate home doctors, knowing exactly what drug to prescribe for any discomfort or sickness.

Who needs a real doctor when you have mum right?

Now, technically speaking, this self-prescription might be considered drug abuse, but let’s be honest, do we Nigerians even care? As long as the drugs get the job done, we’re good.

Here are some of those drugs we Nigerians are guilty of overusing:

You can find Paracetamol in almost every Nigerian household. You’ll never find a shortage of Paracetamol around here. In fact, it’s one of the most abused drugs. We use for just about any kind of pain imaginable. Headaches? Check. Body aches? Check. Menstrual cramps? Check. Toothaches? You bet. Muscle aches? Oh, definitely. And even for malaria, Paracetamol is still the number 1 go-to.

This popular over-the-counter drug works wonders as a fever reducer and pain reliever. Apparently, there’s no stopping Nigerians from overusing this drug because truth be told, it works.

Vitamin C
This is another one of our beloved but overly-used drugs.

You can spot it in both white and orange colours and are used for various ailments like mouth sores and colds, regulating sugar levels, reducing cholesterol, and even tackling skin problems.

Now, here’s a little fact: there’s a popular belief that the white vitamin C works better and faster than the orange ones. This is not true. Both the white and orange variants serve the same purpose in the body.


Flagyl is an antibacterial drug that is used to calm purging and bowel issues. This medication has quite a reputation in Nigeria as the go-to solution for an upset stomach.

If you’re Nigerian, you know that Flagyl is usually paired with Tetracycline also known as red and yellow capsule.

You just pop two tablets each of Flagyl along with tetracycline and your purging stops.

For many Nigerian women who have had unprotected sex, this is often the go-to option.

The active ingredient in Postinor-2 is Levonorgestrel, a strong component that works by preventing the fertilisation of the egg by sperm.

It has to be pointed out though as many women confuse Postinor to be an abortion drug. It is a pregnancy-prevention drug which means that it only prevents pregnancy from occurring rather than terminating an already existing pregnancy.

Alabukun is a very popular painkiller that can be easily gotten from hawkers, street vendors, and drug stores.

Many people take Alabukun with alcohol but it’s important to note that this drug has potential medical implications and should not be abused.

To conclude: It’s always advisable to talk with healthcare professionals or pharmacists so that they can guide you through the appropriate use of medications.

Stay sharp, prioritise your health, and don’t go swallowing any drug just to find relief from your self-diagnosed illness.