Definition of self-medication: a scoping review

Daniela Baracaldo-Santamaría, Maria José Trujillo-Moreno, Andrés M Pérez-Acosta, John Edwin Feliciano-Alfonso, Carlos-Alberto Calderon-Ospina, Franklin Soler

Resultado de la investigación: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

2 Citas (Scopus)


Self-medication (SM) is a global and growing phenomenon. It represents a public health problem due to antibiotic resistance, risk of adverse drug reactions, drug–drug interactions, disease masking, and increased morbidity. There is not a consensus on the definition of SM. The definitions found in different studies make it difficult to address this problem from a theoretical perspective and therefore find an adequate solution to this public health problem. The aim of this article is to search the medical literature to characterize the current understanding of SM in the medical community. We conducted a scoping review of definitions of SM by searching on PubMed – Medline, Embase, and LILACS using the following combination of keywords: ‘self-prescription’ or ‘self prescription’, ‘self-medication’ or ‘self medication’, or ‘automedication’ and ‘definition’ or ‘explanation’. The search was limited to articles containing the definition of SM, with no limit on language or year. Duplicate studies and those that did not mention the definition of SM were excluded from the final review. A total of 65 studies were included in the final selection. We found a vast heterogeneity in the definition of SM. Most articles based their definition of SM on the process of obtaining the drug, the nonparticipation of a specific health professional, the source of the medication, and the reason for SM. Other interesting concepts such as self-care, nonadherence to a prescription, reuse of stored drugs, and sharing and lending medicines were also considered forms of SM by other authors, however. This study highlights the need to reach a consensus regarding the definition of SM to adequately propose strategies to address this global health problem. This study shows the diverse concepts that need to be included in a future definition of SM.
Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)20420986221127501
PublicaciónTherapeutic Advances in Drug Safety
EstadoPublicada - oct. 2022

Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus

  • Farmacología (médica)


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