Self medication: need for increased awareness among general population


  • Anant D. Patil Freelance consultant: Medical communication and training


Self medication


In a recently published study Sugumar R et al evaluated self medication prevalence in primary dysmenorrhea in India. The results of the study prompted me to write regarding drug induced issues with self medication in primary dysmenorrhea and other diseases in general. The results of this study give some insights on the self medication pattern in primary dysmenorrhea among urban Indian women. The authors have highlighted the high prevalence (42%) along with inappropriate self-medication practices in a large number of participants. Inappropriate self-medication practices inadvertently pose the patient to both the risk of lack of efficacy in case of sub-therapeutic dose as well as adverse events in case of excess than recommended dose. Mefenamic acid, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or its combination i.e. mefenamic acid + dicyclomine was used by close to one third (35%) of study population consumed mefenamic acid containing product for treatment for primary dysmenorrhea. NSAIDs can cause adverse events; it is important to point out some of the reported findings related respiratory, renal and gastrointestinal safety of mefenamic acid.


Sugumar R, Krishnaiah V, Channaveera GS, Mruthyunjaya S. Comparison of the pattern, efficacy, and tolerability of self-medicated drugs in primary dysmenorrhea: A questionnaire based survey. Indian J Pharmacol. 2013; 45:180-183.

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Aggarwal AN, Chaudhry K, Chhabra SK, D’Souza GA, Gupta D, Jindal SK, et al. Prevalence and Risk Factors for Bronchial Asthma in Indian Adults: A Multicentre Study. Indian J Chest Dis Allied Sci 2006;48:13-22.

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Segasothy M, Thyaparan A, Kamal A, Sivalingam S. Mefenamic acid nephropathy. Nephron. 1987;45:156-7.




How to Cite

Patil, A. D. (2017). Self medication: need for increased awareness among general population. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 2(5), 659–660. Retrieved from



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