Recently, the topic of strengthening immunity with the help of various types of drugs has become very fashionable. At the first sign of a cold, some of us immediately run to the pharmacy to stock up on immunomodulators. But is it worth doing this?
According to the world's leading specialists in immunology, the question of whether the immune system is really suffering should be decided by a specialist immunologist.
It is necessary to analyze the patient's complaints, his clinical condition, the number of exacerbations of various chronic diseases, their severity, how his acute infectious and inflammatory diseases progress, etc.
By the way, there is no such term as "weakened immunity" among professionals. In fact, there are defects in the immune system of a congenital or acquired nature. These disorders are called immunodeficiencies.
Disorders in the work of the immune system can be different in nature and they are treated differently. Therefore, in complex cases, it is imperative to carry out laboratory diagnostics of the state of the immune system and, if necessary, of the interferon system. And only after that, taking into account the patient's complaints, his condition, the presence of clinical signs of immunodeficiency (for example, frequent acute respiratory viral infections or stubbornly worsening herpes virus infection, exacerbation of chronic tonsillitis or sinusitis in adults more than 4- 6 times a year), the unfavorable changes in the immunological program, to select the appropriate treatment.
Diet won't save you
Everyone knows the non-drug measures to strengthen the immune system: proper nutrition, stopping smoking and alcohol abuse, normal rest regime, etc. Yes, they often prove useful. But if the defects in the immune system are serious, only tempering and the transition to a he althy lifestyle will not help. Competently selected immunotherapy is also necessary.
And here a problem arises: we Bulgarians, as we know, tend to self-medicate. In addition, the drugs, including immunomodulators, can be purchased at pharmacies without a prescription. Many Bulgarians say that they don't have time to get sick, so they buy these medicines even for a common cold or an acute respiratory disease.
Most often, experts explain, people are worried about constantly recurring herpes infections affecting the lips, mouth, face and even the genitals. However, whether or not they should restore their immune system is again up to the doctor. And when they suggest to us from the TV screen that there is such an immunotropic drug that can cure the flu, it's a disaster! Improper use of such products can seriously harm he alth.
However, if the immunotropic preparation refers, for example, to the group of interferons that have direct antiviral activity (such as cycloferon), its use for the treatment of acute respiratory diseases is permissible in some cases, but only at the discretion of the personal physician.
But to conduct such therapy five or even ten times a year is not correct - immunologists warn. Illiterate or frequent use of immunotropic drugs can lead to exacerbation of chronic diseases. To everyone! It should also be borne in mind that many immunomodulatory drugs do not have a direct antiviral effect, so they must be used in a special way. In autoimmune diseases, for example, many of the immunotropic drugs are contraindicated.
Some doctors believe that in addition to aggravation of chronic and autoimmune diseases, the uncontrolled use of immunomodulators can lead to the development of oncological diseases. But leading specialist immunologists call these claims delusional, as a whole range of cancer immunotherapy drugs are being developed around the world today. These drugs work at the molecular level.