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Revista Virtual de la Sociedad Paraguaya de Medicina Interna

On-line version ISSN 2312-3893


REAL APARICIO, Nicolás Emilio et al. Clinical characteristics of self-medication in adults of three Family Health Units of Paraguay in 2019. Rev. virtual Soc. Parag. Med. Int. [online]. 2020, vol.7, n.1, pp.77-85. ISSN 2312-3893.


Self-medication is defined as the ingestion of medications on their own initiative and without a prescription. This practice, which usually reaches significant prevalence figures, can have serious consequences for the health of the population.


To describe the characteristics of self-medication in adults of three Family Health Units of Paraguay in the period August - September 2019.


Observational, descriptive and prospective study in the adult population using a structured interview with prior informed consent. Demographic data and variables related to the consumption of non-prescription medications were measured.


One hundred and fifty-three subjects were studied, with a mean age of 43±17 years and female predominance (77.2%). The predominant employment situation was household chores (39.2%). The majority (40%) had high school level. In 101 cases (66%) some degree of self-medication was detected as many admitted to ingest more than one drug at a time. The main source of acquisition of drugs were pharmacies (50%). The source of information on the medication required for the conditions of the subjects studied was mainly the pharmacist (37%). The drugs most frequently ingested were analgesics (84%). The main symptom that caused self-medication was pain (75%).


The frequency of self-medication was 66% predominating the intake of analgesics and antipyretics. The symptoms that mostly motivated this behavior were fever and pain and the main source of medication acquisition was pharmacies.

Keywords : self-medication; primary health care; analgesics; pharmacists.

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