Benefits and risks of self medication.
ABSTRACT Self medication is becoming an increasingly important area within healthcare. It moves patients towards greater independence in making decisions about management of minor illnesses, thereby promoting empowerment. Self medication also has advantages for healthcare systems as it facilitates better use of clinical skills, increases access to medication and may contribute to reducing prescribed drug costs associated with publicly funded health programmes. However, self medication is associated with risks such as misdiagnosis, use of excessive drug dosage, prolonged duration of use, drug interactions and polypharmacy. The latter may be particularly problematic in the elderly. Monitoring systems, a partnership between patients, physicians and pharmacists and the provision of education and information to all concerned on safe self medication, are proposed strategies for maximising benefit and minimising risk.
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ABSTRACT: The aims of this cross-sectional survey were to document the prevalence, the determinants, and the reasons of oral medication use without the prescription of a physician among a random sample of 672 parents of students attending randomly selected public schools in Italy. A total of 69.2% practiced self-medication at least once. The odds of having performed a self-medication were higher in females, in younger population, and in those who have had a health problem in the preceding year and were lower in respondents with a middle or lower school level of education. Among those reporting experience of self-medication, 53.4% have practiced at least once in the last year and this was more likely for those who have had a health problem. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were more frequently used without a prescription in the last year. Two-thirds inappropriately self-medicated in the last year at least once. Of those who did not report a self-medication, 13.1% were willing to practice it. Females were more willing and those with a secondary school level of education less willing to practice self-medication. The frequency of oral self-medication was quite high and in most cases inappropriate with a potential impact on the health status and educative programs are needed.BioMed Research International 01/2015; 2015:580650. DOI:10.1155/2015/580650 · 2.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: This research aims to describe the extent of self-medication, assess possible factors associated with it, identify patients' reasons for self-medication and their attitudes towards the role of pharmacists in self-care so that future interventions can be documented and planned. Methods: A cross-sectional study using a questionnaire was conducted. Questionnaires were distributed randomly to 565 persons from all over the West Bank. The questionnaire covered self-medication purchases and experience with minor illnesses. Results: From 565 people approached. 400 (70.8%) agreed to participate in the study Self-medication was reported by 87.0% (n = 348) of cases interviewed, among them 224 (56.0%) used at least one medication without consulting a doctor in the previous month. Analgesics were the most common class used in self-medication by 317 (79.2%) respondents, followed by flu medications (233, 45.3%), and antibiotics (132, 33.0%). The majority reported that they selected medications based on selfdecision and previous use (233, 58.2%). Advice received from pharmacists was another important factor in 216 (54.0%). The most common reasons for self-medication were: their ailments being minor (341, 85.2%) and they had this medical problem before 198 (49.5%). Among 397 respondents, 335 (84.4%) either strongly agreed or agreed that the community pharmacists play an important role in providing advice - when needed - for self-medication. Conclusions: Self-medication practices have been common among people in Palestine. There has been a high rate of using antibiotics without prescription, which requires suitable regulations and interventions to solve this problem. The results have shown a positive attitude towards the role of pharmacists in self-care. Community pharmacists have the potential to make a huge impact in ensuring that medicines are used appropriately.International journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics 04/2013; 51(07). DOI:10.5414/CP201814 · 1.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Depressive disorders are frequent. They are frequently unrecognised or sufferers use self help or self medication, e.g. with St. John's wort (SJW), instead of seeking professional help. The purpose of this study is to examine patients who buy SJW for the treatment of depression. In pharmacies from all over Germany customers who bought SJW and the pharmacists were asked to fill in a questionnaire on the cause for buying SJW, their health status and the type of counselling they received. 588 individuals were included, 293 purchased SJW as an OTC preparation, 230 had a prescription (65 missing answers). The majority in both groups were women (78.8% in OTC group, 74.3% in prescription group. Self medication patients were significantly younger. Subjects with a prescription took SJW longer (26.99+/-26.84 vs. 15.25+/-20.84 months). Both groups did not differ in self rated symptoms of depression (severity of depression, anxiety, endurance). No standardized interviews were used to establish the diagnosis of depression. Patients who buy SJW for self medication report pronounced and persistent depressive symptoms. As this is a large group of patients they should get more attention in research. Pharmacists are the only professionals who come in contact with these patients and should therefore be considered as an important group of carers.Journal of Affective Disorders 05/2008; 107(1-3):205-10. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2007.07.019 · 3.71 Impact Factor