Global Scenario of Self Medication: A Review of Literature

Ms. Pranali Kulkarni ., Ms. Anshul Garg ., Ms. Abhishek Ajmera ., Ms. Apurva Mahajan ., Ms. Sonal Gadekar ., Ms. Pushkar Kulkarni .


Selfmedication can be defined as obtaining and consuming drugs without the advice of a physician for diagnosis, prescription or surveillance of treatment. Self-medication is widely practiced with varying dimensions in India and globally. A review of literature was conducted on various studies conducted in different geographies that focused on the practices of self-medication based on different factors like demography, gender, occupation, standard of living. To review the literature on self-medication practise globally and understand all the factors that is directly or indirectly related to the practice of self-medication. This paper helps in understanding various factors that affect self-medication practices like income, age, prior knowledge, education, occupation, gender, etc. Finally the study throws a light on practices of self-medication in India and in few other countries, explaining different causes, sources and reasons of self-medication.

An extensive review of literature was undertaken in which 46 Studies conducted on self-medication practices and factors affecting self-medication were selected for the review purpose. The most common ailments for which self-medication are practiced are cold, fever and body & head ache. Analgesics, paracetamol and antibiotics are most prevalent drugs used for self-medication. The most common source of information regarding self-medication is personal experience and information from the credible source like chemist, friends and family. Information through commercial sources like health magazines and advertisements are not much relied on for self-medication. Also, the practice of self-medication is not related with the educational level of patients. Affordability, quick relief and less time consumption is the main reasons for which self-medication are practiced.


Self-Medication; Self-Medication Practices; Global Scenario; OTC; Prescription drugs; Antibiotics; Literature Review.

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