About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Self-Medication

Font : A-A+

What is Self-Medication?

Self-medication is treating oneself for common heath problems without medical consultation or supervision with medications approved for use.

These are commonly known as “non-prescription” or “over the counter (OTC)” medications. There is no need for a prescription to buy these medicines and they are available in pharmacies and supermarkets.

People may also self-medicate to relieve stress, anxiety, overcome psychological trauma or reduce symptoms of mental illness.

Advertisement

What are the Types of Self-Medication?

Types of self-medication vary with the medical condition and medicine(s) being consumed.

Self-medication for Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Psychological trauma:

  • Alcohol – Consumption of alcohol helps numb thoughts and emotions, making people forget their problems. However, it can cause liver and heart damage, leave the person in an inebriated state and impair judgment capability. It is also an addicting substance.
  • Use of drugs: Self-medication with psychostimulants, e.g. cocaine and amphetamines is commonly done to attain a euphoric feeling. People may self-medicate to improve mental health, may be to develop confidence, or for public speaking. Cocaine has a very high potential for addiction.

Self-medication for pain, fever, cough and other minor symptoms

People use painkillers or analgesics for relief from discomforts like headaches and backaches. One must be cautious when self-medicating with common medications like paracetamol or ibuprofen as these can cause damage to the liver and stomach lining.

Self-medication for medical conditions:

In this type, the patient self-diagnoses the condition and tries to cure it using non-prescription medications. This can lead to complications as the medical condition can get enhanced and at times be fatal.

Self-medication can also be classified depending on the addictive mechanism.

Advertisement

Direct self-medication - In these cases, the person suffers discomfort when withdrawing the substance, e.g. alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, illegal drugs, OTC medications

Indirect self-medication - These can be achieved by actions or behaviors that cause changes in the brain’s neurochemistry, e.g. gambling, eating disorders, sexual compulsions. The addiction happens to the person’s own biological substances, e.g. adrenaline, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, etc.

References:

  1. What is Self-Medication? - (http://www.wsmi.org/about-self-care-and-self-medication/what-is-self-medication/)
  2. Are You Self-Medicating? - (https://americanaddictioncenters.org/adult-addiction-treatment-programs/self-medicating/)
  3. Self-medication: A current challenge - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012703/)
  4. Risks of self-medication practices - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20615179)

Latest Publications and Research on Self-Medication

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Jayashree Thakwani. (2020, December 23). Self-Medication. Medindia. Retrieved on May 21, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patientinfo/self-medication.htm.

  • MLA

    Jayashree Thakwani. "Self-Medication". Medindia. May 21, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patientinfo/self-medication.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Jayashree Thakwani. "Self-Medication". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patientinfo/self-medication.htm. (accessed May 21, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Jayashree Thakwani. 2021. Self-Medication. Medindia, viewed May 21, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patientinfo/self-medication.htm.


Do you wish to consult a Pharmacologist for your problem? Ask your question

View All

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.

Advertisement
Health Topics A - Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z



    What's New on Medindia
    Prevent Hacking of Medical Devices: FDA Sounds Alarm
    Black Water: Benefits and Uses
    World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Drug - Food Interactions Diaphragmatic Hernia Find a Doctor Drug Interaction Checker How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Daily Calorie Requirements Post-Nasal Drip Sanatogen Blood - Sugar Chart

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
    open close
    ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE