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Original Research Articles

Self-medication in the Panadura MOH area


M. C. Weerasinghe ,

Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
About M. C.
Lecturer, Department of Community Medicine
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M. W. Gunathunga

Faculty of Medicine, Colombo, LK
About M. W.
Senior lecturer, Department of Community Medicine
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Objective: This study was done to identity self-medication practices and related factors, amongpeople in DDHSarea Penadura.


Methodology: A community based desoriptive cross sectional design with a two stage sampling method was used. An interviewer administered questionnaire was used for data collection.


Results: 486 subjects were interviewed. A self-medication prevalence of 49.6% was found within the two weeks preceding the data collection. Of these, 79.3% had used western medicine alone or in combination with ayurvedic / indigenous medicines.


Self-medication was higher in the age group of18-34, among females and those in Islam religion, which suggests some influence of age, sex and religion on practice of self medication. The majority used a single western drug while 92.7% knew the drugs used, by their name. Majority of drugs used were over the counter (OTC) and 97.5% classified as essential according to essential drug list (EDL) of Sri Lanka, Majority of drugs were used in brand names.


Majority of respondents had resorted to self medication with the impression that the illness was a minor one. Main source of information for self-medication in the current study was experience from a previous illness.


Conclusion: Self-medication is a common practice. It is seen frequently in certain population subgroups than others.
How to Cite: Weerasinghe, M.C. and Gunathunga, M.W., 2003. Self-medication in the Panadura MOH area. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka, 8(1), pp.27–31. DOI:
Published on 30 Dec 2003.
Peer Reviewed


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