Int J Clin Pharm, 2011 Oct;33(5):794-9.
PMID: 21811832 DOI: 10.1007/s11096-011-9539-5


OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence of self-medication among adults in an urban setting and to identify any factors contributing to self-medication in relation to consumer characteristics.

SETTING: The study was carried out in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a self administered questionnaire including adults above 21 years old as an exit survey was conducted in Kuala Lumpur.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Number of medications taken in a day by participants, source of medication for the treatment of minor illnesses among participants, common illnesses chosen for self-medication by participants, and the sources of information of participants.

RESULTS: Of 314 participants, 62.7% had taken at least one medication in the past week without prescription and 62.7% believed that over the counter medicines were just as effective as those prescribed by doctors. 69.4% would seek a healthcare professional's advice before purchasing any medication and 86.9% would consult a pharmacist prior to buying medication from the pharmacy. Only 86% checked the expiry dates on medications and 54.5% reported keeping leftover medication.

CONCLUSIONS: Self-medication practice is prevalent in Kuala Lumpur but some practice might be harmful. Education on appropriate use of self-medication need to be emphasized in order to ensure quality use of medicines.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.