Background: Chronic disease is a stable condition of human health that refers to the disease or its effects or the effects that occur over time. Lack of awareness in chronic patients can be challenging, as it provides the basis for self-medication. This study was performed to investigate the prevalence of self-medication in people with chronic disease and the factors affecting it.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Tehran from January to March 2020 and targeted people living in Tehran.
Results: The prevalence of self-medication in healthy individuals was 64% and in chronic patients was 90%. The most important reason for self-medication in patients was having an old prescription and easy availability in healthy individuals. Analgesics and cold medications were the most commonly used. Headache, muscle aches, and runny nose were the most common symptoms / illnesses of self-medication. Self-medication was significantly associated with chronic illness, duration of disease, number of chronic disease medications, and study of medication instructions (P <0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication among people with chronic diseases is significantly higher due to having a previous prescription or for economic reasons such as the high price of doctor visits and this is a health problem that needs to be addressed. Income, smoking, duration of chronic illness, number of medications taken by the patient and reading medication instructions (drug catalog or brochure) are some of the factors affecting self-medication. One of the simple steps for health promotion in chronic conditions is to educate chronic patients properly that might mitigate the complications of self-medication and prevent dire consequences of inappropriate medication use.