Pattern self-medication use of analgesics in Pune, Maharashtra, India

Shruti Jaiswal, Yogendra N. Keche, Radha Yegnanarayan, Giriraj Gajendra, Kshitija Chandanwale, Vinaya Lanke, Surabhi Jain, Aditi Dakua, Gourav Das, Aishwarya Bhat, Sailee Belvi, Anandita Desai


Background: Objective of current study was to find out self-medication pattern and to study awareness of ADRs to analgesics self-medication.

Methods: II MBBS students collected the information of names of analgesics self-medication, dose, frequency of administration, health related problem for use of self-medication, source of information for the use of self-medication and information about ADRs. Students also educated the population about ADRs to analgesics with the help of ADR checklist.

Results: Paracetamol was most commonly taken as self-medication and 39% persons reported ADRs with paracetamol.  Ibuprofen, diclofenac, paracetamol and aspirin were taken less than WHO DDD for joint pain. 79% study population was ignorant about ADRs to analgesics. Headache (37%) was common health related problem for self-medication of analgesics.   

Conclusion: Information about problems with repeated use of analgesics like liver damage, analgesic nephropathy, gastric ulceration/bleeding should be provided by pharmacists either orally or with the help of leaflets or display board. Headache is common health related problem for the use of analgesics as self-medication. Pharmacists should take help of assistance tool to diagnosis headache like screener for migraine and guidelines for chronic headache for timely visit of self-medicating person to physician.



Self-medication, Analgesics, Headache, ADRs

Full Text:



Montastruc JL, Bagheri H, Geraud T, Lapeyre-Mestre M. Pharmacovigilance of self-medication. Therapie, 1997;52(2):105-10.

Blenkinsopp A, Bradley C. Patients, society, and the increase in self-medication. Br Med J. 1996;312:629-32.

Stosic R, Dunagan F, Palmer H, Fowler T, Adams I. Responsible self-medication: perceived risks and benefits of over-the-counter analgesic use. Int J Pharm Pract. 2011;19:236-45.

Robinson G. Pain relief for headache is self-medication a problem. Can Family Physician. 1993;39:867-72.

Andersson HI, Ejlertsson G, Leden I, Schersten B. Impact of chronic pain on health care seeking, self-care, and medication. Results from a population-based Swedish study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 1999;53:503-9.

Keche Y, Radha Yegnanarayan, Bhoyar S, Agrawal R, Chavan R, Mahendrakar P. Self-medication patterns in rural areas in Pune, India. Int J Med Publ Health. 2012;2(4):7-11.

Loharkar N, Keche Y, Radha Yegnanarayan, Dharma M, Bhosale A, Makan A. Self-medication use in urban population of Pune, Maharashtra, India. Sch J App Med Sci. 2013;1(6):732-8.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology. ATC classification index with DDDs 2013. In: WHO, eds. Guidelines for ATC Classification and DDD Assignment. 16th ed. Oslo: Norwegian Institute of Public Health; 2012: 10-275.

WHO. Essential medicines WHO model list (Adults). In: WHO, eds. WHO List. 18th ed. Geneva: WHO; 2013: 5-45.

Shankar RR, Partha P, Shenoy N. Self-medication and non-doctor prescription practices in Pokhara valley, Western Nepal: a questionnaire-based study. BMC Family Pract. 2002;3:17.

Keche Y, Patil D. Self-medication use in Nagpur city, central India. Inventi Impact Pharm Pract. 2010;1(1):22-4.

Sharma R, Verma U, Sharma CL, Kapoor B. Self-medication among urban population of Jammu city. Ind J Pharmacol. 2005;37(1):37-45.

Current Index of Medical Specialities (CIMS), (update 3), 2011. Available at: Accessed July-October 2013.

Drug today. Drug today (volume 1 & 2). October-December, 2013. Available at:

Tripathi KD. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antipyretic-analgesics. In: Tripathi KD, eds. Essentials of Medical Pharmacology. 7th ed. New Delhi: Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd; 2013: 192-209.

Gajendra G, Keche Y, Radha Yegnanarayan, Jaiswal S, Dakua A, Das G. Self-Medication of antimicrobials and exploring awareness of ADRs to self-medication of antimicrobials in Pune, Maharashtra, India. World J Pharmaceut Res. 2014;3(4):726-33.

Berzanskyte A, Valinteliene R, Haaijer-Ruskamp FM, Romualdas G, Grigoryan L. Self-medication with antibiotics in Lithuania. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2006;19(4):246-53.

Faleh A, Sawair Zaid H, Baqain Ashraf Abu Karaky, Rasha Abu Eid. Assessment of self-medication of antibiotics in a Jordanian population. Med Princ Pract. 2009;18:21-5.

Donkar ES, Tetteh-Quarcoo PB, Nartey P, Agyeman IO. Self-medication practices with antibiotics among tertiary level students in Accra, Ghana: a cross-sectional study. Int J Environ Res Publ Health. 2012;9:3519-29.

Naito Y, Ishii M, Kawana K, Sakairi Y, Shimizu S, Kiuchi Y. Role of pharmacists in a community pharmacy for self-medication of patients with headache. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2007;20(4):373-80.