Self-Medication Practices among the Adolescent Population of South Karnataka, India

Edlin Glane Mathias, Anjalin D'Souza, Savitha Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Self-medication is used every day in the form of self-care of our health. Different studies in India have shown that more than 50% of the adolescent population takes self-medication every day for their health. Self-medication is an important concern at the global level, and it is an important issue in the health area. Aims. To determine the prevalence of self-medication among adolescents, identifying the commonly used drugs as self-medication and finding the association between self-medication and selected demographic variables are important. Materials and Methods. In a descriptive cross-sectional survey, 220 adolescents were enrolled through cluster random sampling. A self-administered questionnaire (developed by the researcher) along with a demographic profile sheet to assess the prevalence of self-medication and commonly used drugs was exercised. In the study, self-medication was defined as the consumption of medication without the prescription of the physician in the past year. Data analysis was performed by descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS 16.0 software, and the significance of p value (<0.05) was considered. Results. Around 120 (54.5%) adolescents were in the age group of 17 years; among them, 123 (55.9%) were females. The prevalence of self-medication was found to be 173 (78.6%). Antipyretics were consumed by 147 (78.6%) adolescents and antitussives by 120 (54.5%). It was observed that 110 (50%) of the adolescents preferred allopathic system of medication. It was also reported that 52 (23.6%) adolescents self-medicated continuously (i.e., for a month). The results also showed that factors like the type of family (χ2 = 9.615, p<0.05), father's education (χ2 = 13.791, p<0.05), mother's education (χ2 = 14.633, p<0.05), and distance from a nearest medical store (χ2 = 17.290, p<0.05) were associated with self-medication. Conclusion. The present study has shown that the prevalence of self-medication is high among adolescents, and most of them had taken it without consulting a doctor. The study concludes that it is important to create awareness among adolescents regarding self-medication.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9021819
JournalJournal of Environmental and Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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