Prevalence & Practice of Self-Medication in Ernakulum District, southern India





Self-medication can lead to many problems and has many concerns associated with it including development of drug resistance. The objectives of the current study were to assess the prevalence of self-medication practices among people residing in selected urban and rural areas of Ernakulam district, to assess the pattern of use of self-medications and to determine the differences, if any, between the rural, urban and slum population in the prevalence and pattern of use of self-medications


A community based cross-sectional study was conducted and 539 individuals from urban, rural and urban slums of Ernakulam district, Kerala were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data was tabulated in MS Excel and analysed using IBM Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) version 15. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentage was used to summarize the data. Univariate and multivariate analysis was done to assess the factors associated with self-medication


In the study, 21.5% (114/539) reported that they practised self-medication within last three months. Major indications for self-medication were aches and pain (28.9%), fever (22.8%) and chronic diseases (13.7%). Among those who practised self-medication, 6.1% (7/114) used antibiotics. In the final logistic regression model, being in urban area [urban areas (OR 5.8, 95% CI 3.2-10.4), urban slums (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.5-5.4)] and increasing age groups [18-59 years (OR 2.1 95% CI 1.1-3.8) and more than 60 years (OR 3.2 95% CI 1.6-6.5)] were associated with self-medication practices.


Holistic approach should be taken to prevent the problem of self-medications, which includes proper awareness and education to public, improving access to care and regulation of pharmacies regarding sale of drugs.


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How to Cite

Paul N, Suseela RPB, Francis PT, Kamalamma L. Prevalence & Practice of Self-Medication in Ernakulum District, southern India. Indian J Community Health [Internet]. 2017 Sep. 30 [cited 2024 Jun. 23];29(3):282-6. Available from:



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