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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


VITOR, Ricardo Sozo; LOPES, Caroline Panone; MENEZES, Honório Sampaio  and  KERKHOFF, Carlos Eduardo. Pattern of drug consumption without medical prescription in the city of Porto Alegre, RS. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, suppl., pp.737-743. ISSN 1678-4561.

Self-medication is a very common practice not only in Brazil but also in other countries. It is defined as medication of oneself without medical advice, the patient himself deciding which drug to use. The overall objective of this study is to describe the pattern of drug consumption without medical prescription in the city of Porto Alegre between January and February 2007. It was an observational, transversal, descriptive and prospective study. Seven hundred and forty two individuals of both sexes, aged between 18 and 70 years and resident in Porto Alegre where interviewed between January and February 2007 after self-medication had been confirmed. With respect to sex, there was a predominance of self-medicating women (57.54%) in the studied sample. As refers to media influence, the majority (76.28%) was not influenced by the media in the choice of a medicament. In relation to the variable medical consultations during the last twelve months the majority (26.81%) had seen the doctor twice. The data here presented confirm the importance of studying the practice of self-medication and support the hypothesis of a naive and excessive belief of our society in the power of medicines.

Keywords : Self-medication; Habits; Prescription.

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