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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910


SCHMID, Bianca; BERNAL, Regina  and  SILVA, Nilza Nunes. Self-medication in low-income adults in Southeastern Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.6, pp.1039-1045. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the self-medication prevalence in low-income adults and identify associated factors. METHODS: Data from a population survey performed in São Paulo municipality, Southeastern Brazil in 2005, were used. The sample strategy included two domains, favelas and non-favelas, with clustered sampling performed in two stages with a total of 3,226 eligible individuals. In addition to sociodemographic and economic characteristics, the multiple logistic regression included: use of medicines in the 15 days preceding interview, access to medicines (free, purchased or other) and type of morbidities treated (chronic or acute). RESULTS: The proportion of self-medication was 27% to 32%. Self-medication was strongly associated with acute morbidity, ability to purchase medicines, age less than 47 years and the medicine group that acts on the central nervous system. The medicinal group that acts on the central nervous system was the most common utilized in self-medication. CONCLUSIONS: Free access to medicines was shown to be a protective factor for self-medication. The distribution of medicines and appropriate health care should be considered when providing patient counseling and for reducing health risks from irrational medicine use.

Keywords : Self Medication; economics; Drugs of Continuous Use; Socioeconomic Factors; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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