Self-medication in adolescence: a challenge to health education

Ilane Magalhães Silva Ana Maria Fontenelle Catrib Vânia Cordeiro de Matos Ana Paula Soares Gondim About the authors

The study aims to examine the knowledge of students of public and private schools in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará State, Brazil on the use of medicine and their health implications. It is a descriptive study of 722 adolescents enrolled in ten schools in the city of Fortaleza. He got up aspects of consumption, indication and guidance medicine and influence of the media using a questionnaire. Seventy two percent of the participants reported use of medicine the last 60 days, and painkillers were the most cited (65.4%). The indications were responsible for the family (51.2%) and physicians (33.1%), and the self-medication by 20.8% of the students. Regarding the use of medicine 70.9% of the students were not instructed on the proper use of the medicine. Of the total, 34.1% had already been influenced by media in the purchase of medicine. It's possible to conclude that teenagers' knowledge about medicine and its implications on health is very weak and devoid of any basic notion of the rational use of medicine. In addition, public school students are more oriented on the proper use of medicines by professionals in the public health system, which demonstrates the efficiency of the promoter of health of the population enrolled in public schools in Fortaleza.

Self-medication; Adolescents; Health education


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