ArticlePDF Available

Self-medication and their consequences: A challenge to health professional

  • Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences, Ministry of Ayush, Goverment of India

Abstract and Figures

The use of medicament without concerning registered medical practitioner is increasing day by day. Unawareness about safe and rational use of medicine may lead to serious consequences which is difficult to overcome. The adverse consequences of such practices should always be emphasized to the community and steps to curb it. Rampant irrational use of antibiotics without medical guidance may result in greater probability of inappropriate, incorrect, or undue therapy, missed diagnosis, delays in appropriate treatment, pathogen resistance, and increased morbidity. The present review deals the reason, hazards, and prevention of potential risk associated with self-medication. © 2016, Innovare Academics Sciences Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Vol 9, Issue 2, 2016
Online - 2455-3891
Print - 0974-2441
Received: 08 January 2016, Revised and Accepted: 17 Febuary 2016
The use of medicament without concerning registered medical practitioner is increasing day by day. Unawareness about safe and rational use of
medicine may lead to serious consequences which is difficult to overcome. The adverse consequences of such practices should always be emphasized to
the community and steps to curb it. Rampant irrational use of antibiotics without medical guidance may result in greater probability of inappropriate,
incorrect, or undue therapy, missed diagnosis, delays in appropriate treatment, pathogen resistance, and increased morbidity. The present review
deals the reason, hazards, and prevention of potential risk associated with self-medication.
Self-medication, Antibiotic resistance, Self-care.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International
Pharmaceutical Federation define self-medication as a run through by
which a human being selects and uses medicines to treat signs/symptoms
or minor health problems, recognized as such by themselves [1,2].
When done appropriately, self-medication can help the individual’s
health and is documented by the WHO as part of self-care [1,3].
Self-care is understood as what people do by themselves to inaugurate
and maintain health, preventing, and dealing with disease. This concept
of self-care includes health, nutrition, lifestyle, socio-economic, and
environmental factors, as well as self-medication [1,3].
Lately, people have taken greater personal responsibility for their
health and are seeking more information and facts to make pertinent
decisions about their treatment either from reliable sources or from
other questionable sources such as health issues related websites [2,4].
In the treatment of minor illness, when problems are self-limited,
self-care can be used to take care of them. According to the Winfield
and Richards [5], the principles for considering health problems as a
minor illness include having a limited duration and being perceived
as non-threatening to the patient. In the international arena, such as
in developed countries there is a change in the treatment of these
minor ailments, i.e. illness, sickness, disorders, etc., through using self-
care, encouraged by drug policies around the countries worldwide.
For government institutions, this can reduce costs and distractions
on minor ailments while allowing health professionals to focus on
more serious health problems. When this condition occurs of self-
care, and when the management of these ailments is accomplished
through drugs or medicinal plants, it becomes self-medication. In this
case, pharmacist direction is important to guarantee a responsible
self-medication plan. It is estimated that in the United States, some
100-150 million general physician consultations a year are related
to conditions that could be self-treated. In recent decades, the role
of pharmacist’s has been changed, being not only as drug dispenser
at a pharmacy store but acting as part of a multidisciplinary team
involved in health care [1,6]. It is essential to highlight the convenience
of consumers to the pharmacists, those working in either the public
sector, in private pharmacies and hospital pharmacy. Confirming such
responsibility of pharmacist, Loyola Filho et al. found a significant
association between pharmacist consultation and the use of non-
prescribed drugs in Bambuí, Minas Gerais [7].
Each year, thousands of new products are launched in the drug market
as over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, and community pharmacists
working in public sectors are in an excellent position to provide
correct information on the use of these drugs to the patients [8,9].
Even for the sale of OTC drugs, the prescription is not required by
the patient, but they can cause adverse drug reactions or side effects
if taken incorrectly. It is striking that in Brazil, 35% of medicine are
traded as self-medication [10]. While self-medication can produce good
results and be a useful practice for the patient [1,9,11], but it can also
cause serious health risks such as bacterial resistance, dependence,
digestive bleeding, antibiotic resistance, tolerance, cross tolerance,
hypersensitivity reactions, drug withdrawal symptoms, adverse
drug reactions, as well as increase the risk of neoplasia. In addition
to these risks, it should be highlighted that the momentary relief
of symptoms may actually mask the underlying disease or cause of
disease [10,12]. The indiscriminate use of medicines can also increase
the chances of intoxication, according to the National System of
Toxic-Pharmacological Information (Sistema Nacional de Informações
Tóxico-Farmacológicas - SINITOX) [13]; medicines are the 2nd-most
frequent causative agents of intoxication in humans.
Medicines are responsible for 26% of intoxication recorded in the country
in 2005, where only 590 cases were a result of self-medication [13].
In a self-care context when there is need for medicines to the patient,
the clinical pharmacist has a key role in assisting to identify the best
involvement. This may include transfer to another health professional
(general physician), suggesting a different non-pharmacological
therapy, helping to choose an OTC medicine that is safe and effective,
and ensuring that it is used correctly by patient [1,11,14]. Therefore,
responsible self-medication encourages the rational use of medicines.
According to the WHO, the rational use of medicines is regarded as a
situation in which the patient receives the appropriate medicine for
their clinical need, at a correct dosage, for an appropriate period of time,
and at a lower cost to themselves and the community (WHO, 2002).
However, to ensure responsible self-medication practice, it is necessary
for pharmaceutical establishments to have a standardized sequence
or check on the actions of a particular patient’s care procedure to
manage care adequately. An initiative in this direction was taken by the
European Union which has developed protocols for minor disorders
that help in the interview and decision-making stages [15].
The concept of self-medication encourages an individual to look after
minor illnesses with simple and effective remedies which has been
adopted worldwide [16]. People hold the view that the medicine should
be used in the event of any sickness or discomfort or easiness. In the
Review Article
Asian J Pharm Clin Res, Vol 9, Issue 2, 2016, 314-317
Chouhan and Prasad
United Kingdom, where on the average 50% of health care takes place
within the realm of self-medication itself [17]. Self-medication is very
common now a days among people, and it is being used worldwide [18].
The % of people using self-medication worldwide is shown in Fig. 1.
Studies on the use of self-medication have showed that the increase in
self-medication was due to a number of factors such as socio-economic
factors, lifestyle, ready access to drugs, the increased potential to manage
certain ailments through self-care, and greater availability of medicinal
goods in the market. The patient serenity with the healthcare provider,
long waiting times, cost of the drugs, educational level, age, and gender
are the other important factors influences self-medication. One of the
most common reasons for indulging in self-medication includes high-cost
fees of private doctor’s consultations. The condition is worst in rural or
distant corners, where the people are deprived socially, economically, and
educationally and illiterate with inadequate health facilities. In another
study, prior familiarity and the non-seriousness of the illness were the
top two reported factors for self-medication and reading materials were
the top reported source of information on self-medication. The patient’s
valuation of his illness has been minor was also identified as one of the
major factors for self-medication in a study conducted in Nigeria [19-
25]. Although, OTC drugs are intended to be used as self-medication and
are of established efficacy and safety but their inappropriate use due to
lack of knowledge of their side effects and drug interactions could have
a serious consequence, especially in special population groups such as
children, elderly, pregnant, and lactating mothers [26].
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 programs [26].
• Inaccurateself-diagnosis
• Failuretoinquireaboutsuitable medical advice promptly
• Inaccuratechoiceoftherapy
• Failtorecognizeunusualpharmacologicalrisks
• Uncommonbutsevereadverseeffects
• Failto diagnosisofcontraindications, interactions,warnings, and
• Failtodistinguish thatthe sameactivesubstanceisalreadybeing
taken under a different name
• Failto reportrecent self-medicationtothe prescribingphysician
(double medication/harmful interaction)
• Failtorecognizeorreportadversedrugreactions
• Incorrectrouteofadministration
• Excessivedosage
• Excessivelyprolongeduse
• Riskofdependenceandabuse
• Foodanddruginteraction
• Storageinincorrect conditionsorbeyondtherecommendedshelf
life [27].
Improper self-medication could result in an increase in drug-induced
disease, tolerance, resistance in the body, and in wasteful public
expenditure [27].
Health professionals are one who has a potential role in preventing
risks of self-medication in patients who do not know the risks of doing
self-medication. This is because health professional is the one who
work on three main therapeutic aspects of professionalism in his daily
basis practice: Information, therapeutic advice, and education [28].
Whenever health professional is prescribing drugs to the patient, he
should give proper instructions and explanation for what the drug is
prescribed for so that it will be helpful for the patient to understand
and making his own decisions. Given information of drug should be
at patient’s understanding level so that it will be helpful for them to
understand its management [28].
Lack of therapeutic compliance to the patient is a serious problem in
both acute and chronic treatments and reflects a poorly understood
or incomplete description of the treatment aims being given by the
health professional. If patients are not well informed, they will not use
the medication correctly. However, if the instructions for use and the
limitations of a given drug are explained, for example, dose, frequency
of dose, treatment course, route of administration, etc., then patients
has a set of guidelines which will help them to use the drug rationally.
Inappropriate, erratic, and unfit self-medication, along with the lack of
compliance, will only be reduced among patients if they are informed
and are made to understand clearly why certain advice has been given
to them about a certain drug [28].
Inappropriate self-medication is the result of the medical model
from which people have learnt about self-medication. Proper health
education should be given to the patients on a regular basis by the
government. By adopting an educational attitude, we can have an effect
on large sectors of the population who directly influence their friends
and family. This aspect is of particular importance with respect to the
self-medication of children by their parents or caretakers [28].
The pharmacist is one of the key role players in educating the customers
about the proper use of medicines, which are intended for self-medication
such as OTP drugs. For that necessary steps have to be taken in their
training and practice programs [29]. Pharmacists play an important role in
identifying, solving, and preventing drug related problems for the purpose
of achieving optimal patient health and quality of life. Ambulatory-based
pharmacists have an opportunity and responsibility to foster the safe,
appropriate, effective, and economical use of all medications, especially for
those therapies which patients are self-selecting. Pharmacists should guide
their customers to consult the physician before taking any medication as
self [30-32]. Unlike above role, pharmacists have the following function as:
To address the condition of the patient properly, the pharmacist must
tell the patient about the key points and pass on relevant information 
Asian J Pharm Clin Res, Vol 9, Issue 2, 2016, 314-317
Chouhan and Prasad
how to deal with safety issues [28,33].
The pharmacist must ensure that the products which the patient is
purchasing are from reputable sources and of good quality [28,33].
To achieve this, the pharmacist must develop a protocol for a referral to
the pharmacist, protocols for community health workers involved with
the handling and distribution of medicines [28,33,34].
It is authoritative that pharmacists develop quality collaborative
relationships with the other health care professionals such as
with doctors and nurses, national professional associations, the
pharmaceutical industry, governments (local/national), patients and
general public, and hospitals [28,33,35].
As a member of the health-care team, the pharmacist must participate
in health screening to identify health problems and those at risk in
the community, participate in health promotion campaigns to raise
awareness of health issues and disease prevention in public and
provide advice to individuals to help them make informed health
choices [28,33].
The OTC Committee of the Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of
India is working toward the promotion of responsible self-medication
with a view to growing the OTC sector in the market. It is aiming to get
supervisory support for issues such as the accessibility of household
TC remedies and increasing the awareness of the importance
of responsible self-medication with the general public and the
government [34]. Many healthcare organizations have made important
statements on self-care and self-medication, singly or jointly with
WSMI. Some selected illustrations only are given here [35]. The WHO:
“It has become widely accepted that self-medication has an important
place in the health care system. Recognition of the responsibility of
individuals for their own health and awareness that professional care
for minor ailments is often unnecessary has contributed to this view.
Improvements in people’s general knowledge, level of education and
socio-economic status in many countries form a reasonable basis for
successful self-medication” [35]. The FIP: “To have good health, people
are becoming more responsible, getting proper information as much as
possible to decide in their own care. Pharmacists and the manufacturers
of non-prescription medicines share the common goals of providing
high-quality service to the public and encouraging the responsible use
of medicines” (Joint Statement by The FIP and the WSMI, 1999) [35].
The international council of nurses (ICN): “Self-medication is a key
component of self-care that is particularly significant in an era of
increasing chronic illness and well-informed health care consumers.
Optimizing responsible self-medication is an important and underused
resource for health and provides an opportunity for collaboration and
consultation among consumers, nurses, pharmacists, and physicians”
(Joint Statement by the ICN and the WSMI, 2003) [35].
Self-medication of antibiotic is an alarming concept. This survey
focused on the self-medication of allopathic drugs, their use, its safety,
and reason for using it. It would be safe and if the people who are using
it, have sufficient knowledge about its dose, time of intake, side effect
on over dose, but due to lack of information, it can cause serious effects
such as antibiotic resistance, skin problem, hypersensitivity, and allergy.
Hence, developing country like India where we have poor economic
status, education status as well as poor health care facilities. People have
less knowledge regarding risks associated with their self-medication
of antibiotics. We are on the edge of sword whether to promote
self-medication or not. Hence, it is recommended that holistic approach
should be taken to prevent this problem, which includes proper awareness
and education regarding the self-medication and strictness regarding
pharmaceutical advertising. Dispensing modes in the needs to be improved
through proper education, strict regulatory, and managerial strategies to
make health care easily accessible and cost-effective. Health professionals
have to spend some extra time in educating patients regarding the same.
Improved knowledge and understanding about self-medication may
result in rationale use and thus limit emerging microbial resistance issues.
1. World Health Organization. The Role of the Pharmacist in Self-Care
and Self-Medication. Hangue: World Health Organization; 1998. p. 17.
2. Federation International de Farmacia. The World Self- Medication
Industry. Joint Statement: Responsible Self-Medication; 1999.
Available from: [Last accessed on
2015 Oct 24].
3. World Self-Medication Industry. WSMI Declaration on Self-Care and
Self Medication, 2006a. Available from:
boarddeclarationselfcare.pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Oct 28].
4. Barros JA. Pharmaceutical Policies: Service of Health Interests?
Brasília: Unesco; 2004. p. 270.
5. Winfield AJ, Richards RM. Pharmaceutical Practice. 2nd ed. Hong
Kong: Churchill Livingstone; 1998. p. 523.
6. Petty D. Drugs and professional interactions: The modern day
pharmacist. Heart 2003;89:31-2.
7. Loyola Filho AI, Uchoa E, Guerra HL, Firmo JO, Lima Costa MF.
Pharmaceutical policies: Service of Health Interests? Rev Public Health
8. Blenkinsopp A, Paxton P, Blenkinsopp J. Symptoms in the Pharmacy:
A Guide to the Management of Common Illness. 5th ed. Oxford:
Blackwell Science; 2005. p. 291.
9. Covington TR. Nonprescription drug therapy: Issues and opportunities.
Am J Pharm Ed 2006;70(6):137-41.
10. Aquino DS. Why rational drug use deveser one priority? Ciênc Public
Health 2008;13:733-6.
11. World Self-Medication Industry. Responsible self-care and
self-medication: A worldwide Review of Consumer Surveys.
Ferney-Voltaire: WSMI; 2006b. p. 16. Available from: http://www.>. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 01].
12. Vilarino FJ, Soares CI, Silveira CM, Rödel AP, Bortoli R, Lemos RR.
Profile of self-medication in a city in southern Brazil. Rev Health
Public 1998;32(1):43-9.
13. Bochner R. Casos registrados de intoxicação humana e envenenamento:
Uma Análise; 2005. Available from:
sinitox/2005/umaanalise2005.htm>. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 01].
14. Wazaify M, Shields E, Hughes CM, Mcelnay JC. Societal perspectives
on over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. Fam Pract 2005;22(2):170-6.
15. Cordero L, Giorgio F, Fernández-Llimós F, Cadavid MI, Gato A,
Loza MI. Protocols for minor disorders Del TESEMED project:
Constipation. Pharm Care Esp 2001;3:155-74.
16. Sinclair HK, Bond CM, Hannaford PC. Long term follow-up studies
of users of nonprescription medicines purchased from community
pharmacies. Drug Saf 2001;24(12):929-38.
17. Afolabi AO. Factors influencing the pattern of self-medication in an
adult Nigerian population. Ann Afr Med 2008;7(3):120-7.
18. Available from:
apoio/1296056417_792.pdf/. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 02].
19. World Health Organization: The Role of the Pharmacist in Self-Care
and Self-Medication. Report of the 4th WHO Consultative Group on
the Role of the Pharmacist. The Hague; 1998. Available from: http:// 13/who-dap-98-13.
pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 02].
20. Hebeeb GE, Gearhart JG. Common patient symptoms: Patterns of
self-treatment and prevention. J Miss State Med Assoc 1993;34:179-81.
21. Sharma R, Verma U, Sharma CL, Kapoor B. Self-medication among
urban population of Jammu city. Indian J Pharmacol 2005;37:40-3.
22. Abay SM, Amelo W. Assessment of self-medication practices among
medical, pharmacy, and health science students in Gondar University,
Ethiopia. J Young Pharm 2010;2(3):306-10.
23. Omolase CO, Adeleke OE, Afolabi AO, Afolabi OT. Self medication
amongst general outpatients in a Nigerian community hospital. Ann
Ibadan Postgraduate Med 2007;5(2):65-8.
Asian J Pharm Clin Res, Vol 9, Issue 2, 2016, 314-317
Chouhan and Prasad
24. Worku S, Mariam AG. Practice of self medication in Jimma town
Ethiopian. J Health Dev 2003;17(2):111-6.
25. Murray MD, Callahan CM. Improving medication use for older Adults:
An integrated research agenda. Ann Intern Med 2003;139:2425-9.
26. Hughes CM, McElnay JC, Fleming GF. Benefits and risks of
self-medication. Drug Saf 2001;24(14):1027-37.
27. WHO. Guidelines for the Regulatory Assessment of Medicinal Products
for use in self-Medication. Geneva: WHO; 2000.
28. Hernandez Juyol M, Job Quesada JR. Dentistry and self-medication:
A current challenge. Med Oral 2002;7:344-7.
29. Available from: [Last accessed on
2015 Nov 04].
30. Wilbur K, Salam SE, Mohammadi E. Patient perceptions of pharmacist
roles in guiding self medication of over the counter therapy in Qatar.
Patient Prefer Adherence 2010;4:87-93.
31. General Information WHO Drug Information. Vol. 14. No. 1,
2000. Available from: [Last accessed on
2015 Nov 11].
32. Role of the Pharmacist in the Health Care System. Available from: [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 15].
33. Ruiz ME. Risks of self medication practices. Curr Drug
Saf 2010;5:315-22.
34. Available from:
pdf. [Last accessed on 2015 Nov 15].
35. Available from: [Last
accessed on 2015 Nov 22].
... When done responsibly [3], self-medicating can be beneficial, allowing individuals to take responsibility for their health and make decisions in treating short-lived, mild illnesses. This, in fact, is encouraged by drug policies in many countries, as it cuts costs for governments and lessens the burden on health care providers, enabling them to direct their attention to more serious illnesses [4]. ...
Introduction Self-medication (SM) is defined as consuming pharmaceutical drugs without the advice of a physician for either diagnosis or treatment. Reliance on self-medication has become a more common worldwide issue and now plays a major role in self-care. However, the practice is linked to many risks for patients and the whole community. This study assesses knowledge, attitudes, and practices associated with self-medication in the western region of Saudi Arabia. Methods This is an observational questionnaire-based cross-sectional study conducted over two months, between January and March 2022. The survey comprised 29 questions adapted from similar studies and was translated into Arabic to fit the study population. All residents of the three major cities, Makkah, Jeddah, and Taif, were included; the population under 18 years of age and health workers were excluded. We used OpenEpi version 3.0 ( for sample size calculation and Statistical Package for Social Sciences (IBM Corp, Armonk, USA) was used for data analysis. Results Most of the participants (67.7%) declared that they practiced self-medication: (28.6%) men and (39.1%) women. Self-medicating for different indications showed differences between men and women but without statistical significance. Major indications for self-medicating were headache (45.3%), cough, cold/flu (42.7%), and fever (34.0%). The primary reasons participants gave for choosing to self-medicate were easy availability of the medicines (41.4%) and that they were treating a minor illness (40.8%). Many types of medicines were used, most commonly analgesics (44.0%) and antipyretics (43.6%). Conclusion The practice of self-medication is high among the population in Makkah, Jeddah, and Taif. Educating the public on the consequences and adverse effects is necessary.
... Potential risks of selfmedication include incorrectly self-diagnosing and taking the wrong medication. In some instances, dangerous drug interactions may occur due to incorrect dosage or medication misuse [41]. To minimize potential risks, always seek a medical professional to provide an accurate diagnosis and prescribe medication. ...
... Some have suggested the effect of steam inhalation on symptom relief (such as reducing the nasal mucocilliary clearance) [43]. Beside the controversy on the efficacy of steam inhalation on CRS, using this method as the only therapeutic method used by the patient disallows appropriate management and increases the risk of CRS complications [24,44]. Herbal supplements are also widely used in patients with CRS and supported by the traditional medicine research [45,46]. ...
Full-text available
Purpose Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a frequent respiratory disease. As self-medication is a common issue in the world, this study aimed to estimate its frequency in patients with CRS. Methods 144 CRS patients referred to a university hospital, were evaluated for self-medication, included type, duration, frequency, and its causes, their SNOT-22 questionnaire and Lund–MacKay scores. The data were analyzed using SPSS v.21 and the level of significance was considered as P ≥ 0.05. Results 30.6% of the cases used self-medication (65.9% used chemical drugs and 63.6% used herbal drugs), not associated with their age, gender, educational or economic level. The most common chemical drugs were antibiotics, analgesics and decongestants (75.9%, 55.2% and 10.3%, respectively) and the most common non-pharmaceutical agents included steam inhalation and herbal infusions (71.4%). The efficacy of self-medication was rated as “none” to “little” in 54.64% of cases. The mean SNOT-22 score was 59.54 ± 10.93 and 73.27 ± 8.12 in cases without and with self-medication (P = 0.034), and the mean Lund–MacKay score was 11.8 ± 5.3 and 17.2 ± 4.3 in cases without and with self-medication, respectively (P = 0.002). The top reasons for self-medication were “considering the disease unimportant” and believing chemical drugs being “harmful”, “expensive”, or “non-effective”. Most patients who used self-medication did “not” advise it to others (80%). Conclusion The high rate of self-medication in CRS patients calls for greater attention to this issue in these patients. It seems that self-medication is significantly associated with more severe grades of disease and lower QOL in CRS cases.
... The reported outcomes were majority of participants getting better after SM 86.2% and few of them not get better after SM 3.8% and the actions were visited health facility 70%, nothing 20%, repeated SM 8% and went to tradition healers 1(2%). The expiations for this could be due participants having su cient knowledge about drug choice, dose and time of intake (25). ...
Full-text available
Background: Self-medication practice (SMP) is the use of medication without the prescription of health care professionals. The major problems associated with self-medication practice have been drug resistance, drug side effects, wastage of resources, and serious health hazards including death. This study was conducted to assess the magnitude and factors associated with self-medication practice among adult household members in Shinyanga Municipal Council (SMC). Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was conducted in SMC, in September and October 2020. A multistage cluster random sampling was used to select study participants. Variables such as socio-demographic factors and reasons for SMP were summarized using frequencies and percentages. Chi square and logistic regression test were used to identify factors associated with SMP. All statistics were done using SPSS version 25. Results: In total 422 adult household members were studied, the magnitude of SMP among adult household members in SMC was 86%. The major symptom of illness that lead to SMP were headache 75(38.9%), fever 71 (37%) and cough 52 (27.1%) while paracetamol 84(43.8%), Ampiclox 30 (15.5%) and artemether lumefantrine 25 (13%) were the commonly used drugs. Perceptions of illness as mild 141(38.8%)and previous experience of self-medication138(38%) were the reasons for SMP. Participants who did not complete secondary education were seven times more likely to practice SMP as compared to those who had university education (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] =7.136, 95%CI=1.447-35.180, P=0.016). Participants with average household income (AHI) (<180,000 TSH=<78USD) were less likely to practice SMP compared to those with AHI (B 180,000Tsh) (aOR = 0.424, 95%CI = 0.214 – 0.840, P = 0.014). Conclusion: The magnitude of SMP in Shinyanga Municipal was found to be high.SMP was significantly associated with level of education and average monthly household income. Strengthening of the community’s awareness on the side effects of SMP including antimicrobial resistance in the study area is recommended.
... trarily use drugs [4]. Studies suggested that the elderly lack the necessary knowledge about the adverse effects of selfmedication; thus, they must acquire sufficient knowledge to change behavior [5]. ...
Full-text available
Objectives: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis and health outcomes are among the major human social events of the 21st century. The unknown nature of the disease and the fear of contagion have caused emotional reactions, including the self-consumption of drugs in the elderly. Therefore, this study investigated factors affecting the self-consumption of drugs for COVID-19 prevention in the elderly. Methods & Materials: This descriptive and cross-sectional study was performed on 342 elderly in Sabzevar City, Iran, in 2020. The research units were selected as clusters from 16 health centers. The necessary data were collected by an online self-medication questionnaire. Data analysis was performed in SPSS. Results: The Mean±SD age of the study participants was 66.2±5.67 years. The frequency of self-medication to prevent COVID-19 was 190(55.5%); analgesics, vitamins, anti-cold, and antibiotics were the most common drugs used. The major factors associated with self-medication in the COVID-19 pandemic were disease prevention, home quarantine, financial problems, experiencing previous self-medication, and others’ advice. There was a significant relationship between self-medication and education and insurance coverage. No significant relationship was observed between gender, occupation, and marital status, and self-medication. Conclusion: Self-Medication in the COVID-19 epidemic is notable as a crisis threatening the elderly’s health. Controlling and monitoring how the drug is used is among the requirements for protection and health promotion in the elderly.
... Self-medication can be attributed to socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, ready access to drugs, the increased potential to manage certain illnesses through selfcare, and greater availability of medicinal products, sociodemographic, epidemiological, accessibility and availability of healthcare and health professional, law, society and exposure to the advertisement; high level of education and professional status [2]. The availability of information on the treatment either from reliable sources or from other questionable resources such as health issues related website increases the practice of self-medication [3]. ...
Full-text available
Self-medication is widely practised in both developed and developing countries. Self-medication is medication use without prior medical consultation regarding indication, dosage, and duration of treatment. The study's general objective was to identify the level of knowledge, attitude, and self-medication practices among undergraduate nursing students at one private healthcare university in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. The study used a cross-sectional descriptive design to meet the objective of this study. Overall, 214 nursing students were involved in this study. The data was collected using a validated questionnaire. The majority of the (70.1 %) nursing students reported self-medication in the last year. The finding also shows that 92.5% of students had good knowledge of self-medication. Overall 92.1%, also had a positive attitude to self-medication. As per the findings, 87 (40.7%) nursing students agreed that they would self-medicate first before consulting a doctor. Antipyretics were the most commonly used drugs. Inappropriate self-medication can cause harm to the students and also whom they suggest as a healthcare provider in the future. Therefore, there is a need to educate nursing students and make them more aware of the pros and cons of self-medication and the importance of informed self-medication.
... Also, at the community level, unguided selfmedication may lead to increased drug induced disease and public expenses [18,19]. The negative consequences of SM can be largely felt in many developing countries with limited resources, low literacy level and healthcare amenities, as well as the huge populace who neither have access to information nor satisfactory knowledge regarding therapy, dosage and duration of use or side effect [18][19][20]. In Nigeria for instance, the sales of both overthe-counter (OTC) and prescription-only medicine by roadside hawkers, and various unregistered and registered proprietary and patent medicine vendors is common [21], largely because of weak enforcement of drug regulations [22]. ...
Full-text available
Abstract Background Globally, self-medication is a common practice, and an increasingly perceived necessity to relieve burdens on health services. However, inappropriate self-medication may result to reduced health outcomes, increased antimicrobial resistance and economic waste. Healthcare students are the future health professionals who will be consistently responsible for educating the public on rational use of medication. This study therefore aimed to assess the prevalence, knowledge and perception of self-medication practices among healthcare students. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out among 866 healthcare students in a Nigerian University, comprising medical, nursing and pharmacy students. Information was garnered from respondents using a self-administered questionnaire. Data were summarized with descriptive statistics, while Chi-square and logistic regression tests were used for categorical variables at p
... [24] It is also in line with the study carried out in 2016, which found that persons using self-medication have sufficient knowledge about medicines. [25,26] This study also shows that student nurses practice self-medication regularly. This is in agreement with the study on the assessment of self-medication practices and its associated factors among undergraduates of a private university in Nigeria in 2018, and found that majority of the students practice self-medication and attribute it to the unfriendly attitude of health-care workers in the university clinic. ...
Full-text available
Background: Self-medication among student nurses is the use of medicines without doctor's prescription. This practice is a global phenomenon and potential contributor to human resistance to most drugs, associated with different types of health challenges. Despite the high knowledge on the complication of self-medication, studies showed that most student nurses still practice self-medication. Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the reasons for increase in self-medication and and find ways on how to curbing the menace among student nurses in the School of Nursing, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Edo State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted with stratified simple random sampling technique to select ninety student nurses from three different levels in the School of Nursing, University of Benin Teaching Hospital in Benin City, Edo State. A self-structured questionnaire with open-type and Likert-type scale questions used as instrument to assess the reasons for increase in self-medication and the possible control measures. Data collected were analyzed using tables, percentages, means, standard deviation, and t-test for inferential statistics at 0.05 level of significance, through Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software. Results: The result showed the reasons for increase in self-medication and how to reduce its occurrence. It also showed that the gender of the student nurses is statistically related to the reasons why they practice self-medication (t = 6.82, P = 0.001). Conclusion: Self-medication can be reduced among student nurses by empowering the law enforcement agencies against self-medication, improving the availability of essential and quality drugs in school clinics, and inclusion of all student nurses in National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) program, where they can enjoy the benefit of paying only 10% of the treatment charges.
Introducción: Las benzodiacepinas tienen potencial para generar abuso, por lo que, un consumo indiscriminado, a través de la venta sin prescripción y la práctica de automedicación, significaría un alto riesgo, producto de su abuso. Objetivo: Establecer la relación entre la automedicación con benzodiacepinas y el riesgo de abuso en pacientes de un hospital de Lima-Perú. Metodología: Estudio transversal analítico. Se encuestó a 874 participantes, se usó una encuesta para determinar datos demográficos, uso de benzodiacepinas y preguntas de la prueba de detección de consumo de alcohol, tabaco y sustancias (ASSIST, por sus siglas en inglés); se obtuvo estadística descriptiva y analítica. Resultados: Hubo más encuestadas del sexo femenino (74,5%), la mediana de edades fue de 52 años (rango intercuartílico: 40-62 años). De los adultos estudiados, 485 fueron considerados como consumidores de benzodiacepinas con receta médica y 389 sin receta médica. Los consumidores con receta médica y sin receta médica que necesitaron tratamiento fueron 129 (26,6%) y 245 (63,0%), respectivamente (p<0.001). Conclusión: Hay una mayor prevalencia de personas que necesitan tratamiento por abuso en consumidores sin receta médica que en el grupo de consumidores con receta médica, por lo que, existe una relación significativa entre la automedicación con benzodiacepinas y el riesgo de abuso; lo que requiere tratamiento en la población estudiada.
Full-text available
At this time the practice of self-medication or self-medication is increasingly being carried out by the community. This is done for various reasons, including feeling that the disease they are suffering from is only a minor illness that does not need to be treated by a doctor. This study aims to get a picture of people's behavior when searching for drugs at pharmacies in their self-medication practice in the Bengkulu City area. The research was conducted using a direct survey research method using observation sheets. Determination of the sample of pharmacies and respondents was done by using purposive sampling technique. People already have a choice of what medicine they will buy at the pharmacy to relieve the pain they feel (84.7%) and ask pharmacists for advice in making choices (15.3%). Most of the drugs used in the practice of self-medication by the community are brand-name drugs (81%) and a small percentage of people use generic drugs (19%). The choices in the use of drugs are over-the-counter drugs (21.4%), limited over-the-counter drugs (28.8%) and hard drugs (49.8%). Based on this, the behavior of people who go to pharmacies to practice self-medication, most of them already have a choice of what medicine they will buy to relieve the pain they feel. The thing that must be a concern is that many people choose to use hard drugs in their self-medication practice without asking for advice from pharmacists at the pharmacy (49.8%), while hard drugs in their use must use a doctor's prescription.
Full-text available
Background: Self-care, including self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, facilitates the public's increased willingness to assume greater responsibility for their own health. Direct consultation with pharmacists provides efficient professional guidance for safe and appropriate OTC use. Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize patient perceptions of pharmacists and use of nonprescription therapy in an ambulatory care population in Qatar. Methods: Patients having prescriptions filled at one organization's private medical clinics during two distinct two-week periods were invited to participate in a short verbal questionnaire. Awareness of pharmacist roles in guiding OTC drug selection was assessed, as were patient preferences for OTC indications. Attitudes towards pharmacist and nurse drug knowledge and comfort with direct dispensing were also evaluated. Results: Five hundred seventy patients participated representing 29 countries. Most respondents were men (92.1%) with mean age of 38.3 years. Almost 1 in 7 did not know medical complaints could be assessed by a pharmacist (15.3%) and 1 in 5 (21.9%) were unaware pharmacists could directly supply OTC therapy. The majority (85.3%) would be interested in this service. In general, respondents were more comfortable with medication and related advice supplied by pharmacists as opposed to nursing professionals. Conclusion: Patients were familiar with the roles of pharmacists as they pertain to self-medication with OTC therapy and described the desire to use such a service within this Qatar ambulatory health care setting.
Full-text available
Aim: This study was designed to determine the proportion of general out patients who practice self medication, the drugs employed and the reasons for resorting to self medication. Methodology: This study was conducted between June and December, 2007 at the General Outpatient Clinic of the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, Ondo State, Nigeria. Two hundred consenting respondents were selected by simple random sampling and interviewed with the aid of semi structured questionnaire by the authors with three assistants. Information regarding their bio-data, history of self medication, drugs used and the reasons for resorting to self medication were obtained. Results: Majority of the respondents (85%) admitted to self medication while the remaining proportion (15%) did not practice it. Drugs utilized could be single, usually analgesics (26.5%) and anti-malaria (15.9%) or in combinations, usually antimalaria-analgesics (22.4%), antimalariaanalgesic- antibiotic (15.3%) and antibiotic-analgesic (10.0%). The reasons cited by respondents for self medication were their perception of their complaints been minor enough to be amenable to self medication (54.7%) and financial constraint (22.4%). Conclusion: Majority of the respondents practiced self medication using an array of drugs like analgesics, anti-malaria and antibiotics used either singly or in combination. The main reasons identified for self medication were that the ailments were minor and financial constraint.
Full-text available
The study was aimed at assessing the magnitude and factors of self-medication among medical, pharmacy, and health science students of GCMHS (Gondar College of Medicine and Health Sciences). A cross-sectional study with two-month illness recall was conducted. A Questionnaire consisting of demographic questions and questions on illnesses in the last two months prior to the interview and treatment strategies was prepared and administered to the 414 students, selected as the sample population, from the GCMHS students. Of a total of 414 students, 213 (51.5%) reported at least one episode of an illness, and 82 (38.5%) of them practiced self-medication. Most drugs for self-medication were obtained from the pharmacy or drug shops; and the most commonly used drugs were Paracetamol and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Common reported illnesses were fever and headache (24.8%) followed by cough and common cold (23.9%). Prior experience and the non-seriousness of the illness were the top two reported factors for self-medication. Reading materials were the top reported source of information. In conclusion, self-medication was practiced with a range of drugs from the conventional anti-pains to antibiotics. Although the practice of self-medication is inevitable; drug authorities and health professionals need to educate students about the pros and cons of self-medication.
Full-text available
Self-medication is defined as the selection and use of medicines by individuals (or a member of the individuals' family) to treat self-recognized or self-diagnosed conditions or symptoms. Several benefits have been linked to appropriate self-medication, among them: increased access to medication and relief for the patient, the active role of the patient in his or her own health care, better use of physicians and pharmacists skills and reduced (or at least optimized) burden of governments due to health expenditure linked to the treatment of minor health conditions However, self-medication is far from being a completely safe practice, in particular in the case of non-responsible self-medication. Potential risks of self-medication practices include: incorrect self-diagnosis, delays in seeking medical advice when needed, infrequent but severe adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, incorrect manner of administration, incorrect dosage, incorrect choice of therapy, masking of a severe disease and risk of dependence and abuse. In this short review the author analyzes recent literature on some of the most important dangers related to self-medication practices, particularly: polypharmacy and drug interactions, medications abuse or dependence, misdiagnosis and incorrect choice of treatment. The author also proposes measures that could be adopted in order to solve or improve these issues.
Despite the growing research interest in self-medication, little information has been available about its major determinants especially in developing countries. This informed the conduct of this study to determine the major factors that influence the pattern of self medication in a population of market women in Ifako-Ijaiye area of Lagos, Nigeria. Interviewer administered pretested semistructured questionnaire was used to collect data from 205 market women selected by multistage sampling technique. The patent medicine dealers were the commonest source of information on medications (31.4%) and where they were obtained (52.2%). The exceptions were the educated (62.5%) respondents who obtained theirs from hospitals and pharmacies. Trade and generic names (61.1%) were common means of drug recognition especially among the educated respondents (P<.05). Education of the respondents was the major factor influencing the practice of self-medication though the pattern was descriptively associated with the marital status and educational level of the respondents (P<.05). Benefits of the practice includes in the order: curing of ailments (58.0%), saving time and money (32.0%) and independence of care (7.0%). Literacy and public health education were the major factors influencing the pattern of self-medication among market women. Recommendations on the role of education of market women, patent medicine dealers and the importance of community pharmacy were suggested.
Self treatment is a common and often necessary part of health care. Factors influencing self-treatment include patient satisfaction, cost, educational level, socio-economic factors, age, and gender. In this article, patients' choices of self-treatment are reviewed; the benefits and risks of self-treatment are discussed. One benefit may be decreased health care cost. Risks include drug interactions between prescription and non-prescription drugs. Physicians should be aware that the majority of illness is treated outside the formal health care system. Education is needed to help patients discern whether self-treatment or medical consultation is appropriate.