Estudio sobre la automedicación en una localidad de Bogotá

Translated title of the contribution: A study of self-medication in a neighborhood in Bogotá

José J. López, Rodolfo Dennis, Sonia M. Moscoso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Objective Establishing the prevalence of people living in the Suba district of Bogotá using medication at their own risk and determining the factors related to it. Methods A guided survey was applied to a random sample. Demographic variables were measured and inquires were made about health problems related to self-medication, the reasons for not seeing a doctor and the medications consumed during the last two weeks. Results Self-medication reached 27,3% (19,2-35,3% 95% CI) and self-prescription was 7,7% (2,8-12,5% 95% CI). Being affiliated to the Social Health Security's beneficiaries system (OR=2,61: 1,4-4,8 95% CI) was related to such behaviour. No relationship with other variables was found. The medications most consumed by people indulging in self-medication were analgesics (59,3%), anti-flu medicine (13,5%) and vitamins (6,8 %). The main problems for which people resorted to self-medication were pain, fever and flu. The main reasons mentioned for not seeing a doctor were lack of time (40%) and lack of economic resources (43%), in addition to other arguments, such as the people's perception that the problem was mild and emergency rooms are always congested. Conclusions Although still worrying from the public health point of view, self-medication figures were lower than those encountered in similar studies; self-medicated drugs were the over-the-counter medication type. The rate of consuming self-medicated antibiotics dropped, probably due to the spreading of the restriction on the sale of antibiotics without a medical prescription which came into force a few months before the survey took place.

Translated title of the contributionA study of self-medication in a neighborhood in Bogotá
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)432-442
Number of pages11
JournalRevista de Salud Publica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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