HomeAboutusEditorial BoardCurrent issuearchivesSearch articlesInstructions for authorsSubscription detailsAdvertise

  Login  | Users online: 200

   Ahead of print articles    Bookmark this page Print this page Email this page Small font sizeDefault font size Increase font size  

CME Table of Contents   
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 34-35

Self-medication practices in rural Maharashtra

Department of Community Medicine, Rural Medical College, Loni, Tal-Rahata, Distt. Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication8-Aug-2009

Correspondence Address:
V D Phalke
Department of Community Medicine, Rural Medical College, Loni, Tal-Rahata, Distt. Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.54933

Rights and Permissions


How to cite this article:
Phalke V D, Phalke D B, Durgawale P M. Self-medication practices in rural Maharashtra. Indian J Community Med 2006;31:34-5

How to cite this URL:
Phalke V D, Phalke D B, Durgawale P M. Self-medication practices in rural Maharashtra. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2006 [cited 2022 Jan 17];31:34-5. Available from: https://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2006/31/1/34/54933

   Introduction Top

Self-medication is an age old practice. Urge of self care, feeling of sympathy towards family members in sickness, lack of health services, poverty, ignorance, misbeliefs, extensive advertisement and availability of drugs in other than drug shops are responsible for growing trend of self-medication. WHO is promoting practice of self-medication for effective and quick relief of symptoms without medical consultations and reduce burden on health care services, which are often understaffed and inaccessible in rural and remote areas [1] .

William Osler has said that "A desire to take medicine is perhaps the great feature which distinguishes man from animals" This desire, however may play havoc when a person starts taking medicines on his own, forgetting that all drugs are toxic and their justifiable use in therapy is based on a calculable risk. It is said that every patient has at least two prescribers his own doctor and himself, while many have additional prescribers in the from of friends, well wishers etc. Present study was carried out to investigate the problem and factors responsible for this practice in Rural area of Karad taluka in Western Maharashtra.

   Material & Methods Top

Present study was carried out in rural field practice area of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences, Karad. Out of three, one village Jakhinwadi was selected having population of 4353. All 515 households in that village were included in the study. Definition of self-medication used was "Medication that is taken on patient's own initiative or on advice of a pharmacist or lay person" [2] . Heads of family were interviewed using pre-tested questionnaire. Out of 515 households in the village 12 could not be contacted due to various reasons. Help of social workers and village leaders was taken to seek cooperation. Data was analyzed and suitable tests of significance were applied.

   Results Top

Majority (63.0%) of the respondents were in age group 36-55 years. As only heads were interviewed most of them were males. 42% were illiterate & majority of them belonged to class IV (43.17%). Prevalence of self medication was found among 81.5% individuals. 48.78% were practicing self medication for last 5 years and 38.53% for more than 5 years. This may be due to increased advertisement and availability of drugs during last decade.

Major reasons for practicing self medication were economic (58.5%) or non availability of health care facility (29.3%). Advertisement in newspaper, TV, Radio and magazines were main sources of information (32.93%), followed by chemist shops (25.61%).

Major sources of procurement of drugs were chemist shop (36.1%) and other shops (54.18%) including pan shop, grocery shop etc. Most of the users of self-medication resorted to Allopathic system of medicine (73.17%), 9.76% were using allopathic + others and 9.02% only Ayurvedic medicines. We found that 80.49% respondents used self-medication mainly for the treatment of minor illness such as headache, cough, fever. Very few (6.34%) had knowledge about correct use and only (19.5%) users had knowledge about side effects. Analgesics, antipyretics and anti-diarrhoeals were most commonly used drugs.

   Discussion Top

Various studies carried out show a range of self-medication practices between 15% to 65%. [2] ,[3] In this contrast our study revealed a prevalence of 81.51% which is much higher. Reasons for wide variations may be due to differences in education, socio-economic status, non-availability of medical facilities and easy availability of drugs.

In studies by Durgawale in urban slum and Saeed et al self­medication practice was due to economic reasons among 60.53% and 86% respectively. [2] ,[3] In our study it was responsible for 58.54%. Non-availability of medical facilities and faith in traditional system were the other reasons.

Allopathic medicine was used by 73.17% respondents which is consistent with studies carried out by Kumar 69% and Durgawale (78.95%). [4] ,[3] Major source of information in our study was through advertisement which is consistent to study carried out by Pendse [5] . Left over drugs are suggested to be common source of drugs used in self medication by Pendse5.Our study revealed that 54.18% respondents procured drug from other shops and 36% from drug stores. This highlights that legislative implementation in banning advertisement and sale over the counter drugs without doctor's prescription. Provoking mass media activities by newspapers, radio, T.V, posters, messages at public places should be ckecked. IEC activities should be strengthened to let know people about hazards of self-medication and for availing health services from Government which is free of cost.

In conclusion, though self-medication if promoted by WHO because of affordability and inaccessibility of health services in developing world, benefits must be weighed against adverse effects.

   References Top

1.Albany, NY: WHO. Guidelines for developing National drug policies, World Health Organization, Geneva, 1988 : 31-32.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Saeed AA. Self medication among primary care patients in Faradak clinic in Riyadh Soc Science Medicine 1988; 27:287-9  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Durgawale PM. Practice of self medication among slum dwellers. Indian Journal of Public Health 1998; 42: 53-5.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Kumar MT, Studies in drug utilization, Maharashtra Herald 1982 Jan 8.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Pendse A.K. 'Hazards of self medication'. Swasth Hind 1992; Feb: 37-38.  Back to cited text no. 5    

This article has been cited by
1 Self-medication Practice and Associated Factors among Private Health Sciences Students in Gondar Town, North West Ethiopia. A Cross-sectional Study
Zemene Demelash Kifle, Abebe Basazn Mekuria, Demssie Ayalew Anteneh, Engidaw Fentahun Enyew
INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing. 2021; 58: 0046958021
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Adverse drug reactions associated with chemotherapeutic agents used in breast cancer: Analysis of patients’ online forums
Sulaf Assi,Ebony Torrington,Ejaz Cheema,Abdullah Al Hamid
Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice. 2021; 27(1): 108
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Household Level Drug Utilization and Associated Factors in South Gondar Zone, North Western Ethiopia
Amien Ewunetei, Hiwot Yisak, Belayneh Kefale
Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety. 2021; Volume 13: 47
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
4 Knowledge, Attitude, Practices and Viewpoints of Undergraduate University Students towards Self-Medication: An Institution-Based Study in Riyadh
Basheerahmed Abdulaziz Mannasaheb, Mohammed Jaber Al-Yamani, Sarah Abdulrahman Alajlan, Lamyaa Munahi Alqahtani, Shrouq Eid Alsuhimi, Razan Ibrahim Almuzaini, Abeer Fahad Albaqawi, Zahaa Majed Alshareef
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(16): 8545
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
5 Prevalence of self-medication in rural area of Andhra Pradesh
GauravM Rangari,RozaG Bhaisare,Venkatasandhya Korukonda,YLakshmi Chaitanya,N Hanumanth
Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care. 2020; 9(6): 2891
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
6 The practice of self-medication in children by their mothers in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo
Katumbo Astrid Mukemo, Tshiningi Thierry Sonny, Sinanduku Judith Sangwa, Mudisu Loriot Kayinga, Mwadi Peggy Mulunda, Mukuku Olivier, Luboya Oscar Numbi, Malonga Françoise Kaj
Journal of Advanced Pediatrics and Child Health. 2020; 3(1): 027
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
7 Self-medication practices in riverside communities in the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest
Abel Santiago Muri Gama,Silvia Regina Secoli
Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem. 2020; 73(5)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
8 Consumers’ awareness, attitude and associated factors towards self-medication in Hail, Saudi Arabia
Mukhtar Ansari,Abdulrahman Alanazi,Afrasim Moin,Denis Bourgeois
PLOS ONE. 2020; 15(4): e0232322
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
9 Self-medication practices and associated factors among households at Gondar town, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study
Ebabu Jember,Amsalu Feleke,Ayal Debie,Geta Asrade
BMC Research Notes. 2019; 12(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
10 Self-medication practice in Akuse, a rural setting in Ghana
BarbaraNyantakyiwah Mensah,IreneBonewa Agyemang,DanielKwame Afriyie,SethKwabena Amponsah
Nigerian Postgraduate Medical Journal. 2019; 26(3): 189
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
11 A Study of Marketing Strategies of Pharmaceutical Industry in India
Tahzeebul Hasan Siddiqui,Rakesh Kumar Yadav
Journal of Business Management and Information Systems. 2019; 6(1): 27
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
12 Self-medication practice and associated factors among adult household members in Meket district, Northeast Ethiopia, 2017
Aster Desalew Kassie,Berhanu Boru Bifftu,Habtamu Sewunet Mekonnen
BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology. 2018; 19(1)
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
13 Self-Medication Practices among Community of Harar City and Its Surroundings, Eastern Ethiopia
Sara Mamo,Yohanes Ayele,Mesay Dechasa
Journal of Pharmaceutics. 2018; 2018: 1
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
14 Self-medication and antibiotic resistance: Crisis, current challenges, and prevention
Irfan A. Rather,Byung-Chun Kim,Vivek K. Bajpai,Yong-Ha Park
Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2017; 24(4): 808
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
Kesley Elsa Kuriachan,Greshma Susan George,Juhy Cherian,Shilpa Mary Cheriyan,Lipsy Paul
Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences. 2016; 5(46): 2909
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
16 Medication taking behavior of students attending a private university in Bangladesh
Nishat Chowdhury,, Fatema Matin,, Sk Feroz Uddin Ahmed Chowdhury,
International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. 2009; 21(3): 361
[VIEW] | [DOI]
17 Assessment of self-medication practices in Assendabo town, Jimma zone, southwestern Ethiopia
Sultan Suleman,Admasu Ketsela,Zeleke Mekonnen
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. 2009; 5(1): 76
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
18 On the Economics of Rational Self-Medication
Wisdom Akpalu
SSRN Electronic Journal. 2008;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


Print this article  Email this article


    Similar in PUBMED
    Search Pubmed for
    Search in Google Scholar for
    Article in PDF (55 KB)
    Citation Manager
    Access Statistics
    Reader Comments
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

    Material & Methods

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded446    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 18    

Recommend this journal

  Sitemap | What's New | Feedback | Copyright and Disclaimer
  © 2007 - Indian Journal of Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
  Online since 15th September, 2007