Self-Medication Among Adults in Urban Udupi Taluk, Southern India
Background: Practice of self-medication with over-the-counter (OTC) medicines is considered as responsible self-medication and is a topic of growing interest among researchers and health policy makers.
Aim: The study aims to find the overall prevalence and factors associated with self-medication among adults in the urban area of Udupi taluk.
Settings and Design: Community based cross-sectional study design in the urban area of Udupi taluk.
Methods and Materials: In a community-based cross- sectional study, data was collected from 290 adults selected from each ward of urban area of Udupi taluk using single stage cluster sampling technique with proportional allocation method. An interview schedule was used for the collection of data. The data was analyzed using SPSS, version 15 (Chicago, IL).
Results: The overall prevalence of self-medication use including allopathic, traditional, homeopathic medicines and home remedies in urban area of Udupi was found to be 35.9 %. (95% CI: 30-41).The various socio-demographic factors like age group, marital status, education and occupation as well as socio-economic status were found statistically associated with selfmedication ( p<0.05). Health-related characteristics like presence of health professional in the family, knowledge of OTC medicines and its responsible use were also found to be statistically significant ( p<0.05). Accessibility of medicines from the pharmacy without prescription (p=0.007), obtaining quick relief p=0.034 and avoiding crowds while visiting doctors p=0.041 were found to be statistically significant reasons for self-medication.
Conclusion: Prevalence of self-medication in the urban area of Udupi taluk was comparable to other studies conducted in India. Self-medication as a practice is emerging as an important public health subject; however, the onus is on providing much needed health education and partnership with pharmacists to empower individuals to make informed decisions.