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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.
SUBMITTED TO SUBMITTED BY
Mr. Santanu Binerji Anjul Tiwari/3rd
Self-medication is a individual uses unprescribed drugs
: medication of oneself especially without the advice of a
self-treatment <self–medication with nonprescription
Help to prevent and treat symptoms and ailments that do not require a doctor.
Reduce the pressure on medical services where health care personnel are insufficient.
Increase the awareness of health care to populations living in rural or remote areas.
Enable patients to control their own chronic conditions.
Hay fever, headache, indigestion, mouth ulcer, nausea, cough, acne, allergic conjunctivitis can
be treated by self medication.
For healthcare systems as it facilitates better use of clinical skills, increases access to
medication and may contribute to reduce prescribed drug costs associated with publicly funded
Self medication is associated with risks such as misdiagnosis, use of excessive drug dosage,
prolonged duration of use, drug interactions and poly pharmacy.
Paracetamol, an antipyretic and analgesic in large doses can cause liver failure.
Paracetamol toxicity is, by far, the most common cause of acute liver failure.
Valsartan is an anti-hypertensive drug. It is highly effective when used in recommended
quantities. The main consideration is the over usage of the drug may cause hypo tension, which
may eventually lead to heart failure and also hepatic and renal failure.
The diagnosis may be wrong.
The drugs may cause side effects.
Financial losses – delayed recovery is ultimately more costly.
According to a report the reason for self medication,
given in fig. Male (35.48%)and female (15.56%)used Self
Medication due to the Lack of time, 32.26%male and
26.67%female used self medication due to High
consultant Fee of Physician, 29.03%male and 11.11%
female wants Quick relief, 3.33 % male and 24.44%
female believe in Ayurveda, There are some cases of
female (6.67%) in which there is no family support hence
they uses self medication, 15.56%female used self
medication due to unable to walk. There are some other
reasons like wider availability of medicine, greater choice
of treatments, ease of access , an active role in his/ her
own health care and self reliance in preventing or reliving
miner symptoms or condition, ailment was minor and
financial constraint .
The OTC Committee of the Organization of
Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) is working
towards the promotion of responsible self-medication
with a view to grow the OTC sector. It is aiming to get
regulatory 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.
There is a wide variety of conditions.In which OTC drugs
are used. Most commonly available OTC medications are
pain killers, cough and cold remedies, anti-allergy
medicines, vitamins and energy tonics. Although these
medications are considered risk-free and useful for the
treatment of common healthproblems, their excessive
use can also lead to serious side-effects and unfavorable
reactions . Generally Consumers tend to utilize private
pharmacies rather than public facilities for self
There are various sources from where people get
information like friend, family,medical shopes