Prevalence of self-medication in Brazil and associated factors

Authors

  • Paulo Sérgio Dourado Arrais Universidade Federal do Ceará; Faculdade de Farmácia, Odontologia e Enfermagem; Departamento de Farmácia
  • Maria Eneida Porto Fernandes Universidade Federal do Ceará; Faculdade de Farmácia, Odontologia e Enfermagem; Departamento de Farmácia
  • Tatiane da Silva Dal Pizzol Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul; Faculdade de Farmácia; Departamento de Produção e Controle de Medicamentos
  • Luiz Roberto Ramos Universidade Federal de São Paulo; Escola Paulista de Medicina; Departamento de Medicina Preventiva
  • Sotero Serrate Mengue Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul; Departamento de Medicina Social
  • Vera Lucia Luiza Fundação Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sérgio Arouca; Departamento de Política de Medicamentos e Assistência Farmacêutica
  • Noemia Urruth Leão Tavares Universidade de Brasília; Faculdade de Ciências da Saúde; Departamento de Farmácia
  • Mareni Rocha Farias Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina; Centro de Ciências da Saúde; Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas
  • Maria Auxiliadora Oliveira Fundação Oswaldo Cruz; Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sérgio Arouca; Departamento de Política de Medicamentos e Assistência Farmacêutica
  • Andréa Dâmaso Bertoldi Universidade Federal de Pelotas; Faculdade de Medicina; Departamento de Medicina Social

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1590/s1518-8787.2016050006117

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To analyze the prevalence and associated factors regarding the use of medicines by self-medication in Brazil. METHODS This cross-sectional population-based study was conducted using data from the PNAUM (National Survey on Access, Use and Promotion of Rational Use of Medicines), collected between September 2013 and February 2014 by interviews at the homes of the respondents. All people who reported using any medicines not prescribed by a doctor or dentist were classified as self-medication practitioners. Crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (Poisson regression) and their respective 95% confidence intervals were calculated in order to investigate the factors associated with the use of self-medication by medicines. The independent variables were: sociodemographic characteristics, health conditions and access to and use of health services. In addition, the most commonly consumed medicines by self-medication were individually identified. RESULTS The self-medication prevalence in Brazil was 16.1% (95%CI 15.0–17.5), with it being highest in the Northeast region (23.8%; 95%CI 21.6–26.2). Following the adjusted analysis, self-medication was observed to be associated with females, inhabitants from the North, Northeast and Midwest regions and individuals that have had one, or two or more chronic diseases. Analgesics and muscle relaxants were the therapeutic groups most used for self-medication, with dipyrone being the most consumed medicines. In general, most of the medicines used for self-medication were classified as non-prescriptive (65.5%). CONCLUSIONS Self-medication is common practice in Brazil and mainly involves the use of non-prescription medicines; therefore, the users of such should be made aware of the possible risks.

Published

2016-01-01

How to Cite

Arrais, P. S. D., Fernandes, M. E. P., Pizzol, T. da S. D., Ramos, L. R., Mengue, S. S., Luiza, V. L., Tavares, N. U. L., Farias, M. R., Oliveira, M. A., & Bertoldi, A. D. (2016). Prevalence of self-medication in Brazil and associated factors . Revista De Saúde Pública, 50(supl2), 13s. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1518-8787.2016050006117

Issue

Section

Original Articles