Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

Prevalence and Predictors of Self-Medication Practices in India: A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-Analysis

[ Vol. 14 , Issue. ]


Muhammed Rashid, Manik Chhabra*, Ananth Kashyap, Krishna Undela and Sai Krishna Gudi Pages 1-12 (12)


Background: Self-medication (SM) is a practice of using medications to treat the self-diagnosed symptoms without legitimate prescription by a health care professional. Alongside posing burden on to a patient, SM practices are associated with certain unfavourable health conditions such as drug-resistance, adverse effects, drug-interactions, including death.

Objective: To systematically review and quantify the prevalence of SM practices and its associated factors in India.

Methodology: A comprehensive systematic search was performed using scientific databases such as PubMed and Cochrane library for the peer-reviewed research articles that were conducted in India without any language and date restrictions. Studies which are cross-sectional by design and assessing the prevalence and predictors of SM practices in India were considered for the review, and all the relevant articles were screened for their eligibility.

Results: Of 248 articles, a total of 17 articles which comprises of 10,248 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Overall, the mean prevalence of SM practices in India was observed to be 53.57%. Familiarity with the medication appears to be a major reason to practice SM (PR: 30.45; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 17.08-43.82; 6 studies), and the practice was noticed more among individuals from a middle-lower class family with a prevalence rate of 26.31 (95%CI: 2.02-50.60; P<0.0001). Minor ailments were the primary reason for practising SM (PR: 42.46; 95%CI: 21.87-63.06), among which headache was the most commonly reported (PR: 41.53; 95%CI: 18.05-65.02).

Conclusion: Prevalence of self-medication practices are observed quite high in India. While, NSAIDs and anti-allergic are the most frequently utilized self-medicated drugs used for headache and cold & cough.


Self-medication, OTC medication, India, Prevalence, Predictors


Department of Pharmacy Practice, Sri Adichunchanagiri College of Pharmacy, Adichunchanagiri University, BG Nagara, Karnataka, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Indo-Soviet Friendship College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab, Department of Pharmacy Practice, Sarada Vilas College of Pharmacy, Mysuru, Karnataka, Department of Pharmacy Practice, JSS College of Pharmacy, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research Mysuru, Karnataka, Department of Pharmacy, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

Read Full-Text article