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Int J Clin Pharm. 2015 Apr;37(2):373-8. doi: 10.1007/s11096-015-0071-x. Epub 2015 Jan 24.

Home pharmacies in Serbia: an insight into self-medication practice.

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Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad, Hajduk Veljkova 3, 21000, Novi Sad, Serbia,



Worldwide data indicate that self-medication is frequently used inappropriately. Although self-medication is encouraged in most of the countries by introducing over-the-counter drugs, it bears the risk of misuse of drugs issued on prescription due to low observance of legislation of medicines requiring prescription by some pharmacies.


The objective of this study was to explore the self-medication practice, with an emphasis on self-medication with prescription-only medications.


Households in Novi Sad city, Serbia.


The study was conducted over 8 month period (December 2011-July 2012) and involved a random sample of households. The questionnaire-based study and personal insight into household drug supplies was performed by a trained interviewer. Main outcome measure Number of drugs obtained without prescription or without consulting a physician in surveyed households.


The total number of drug items present in the 383 households was 4,384 with a median of 11 drugs per household. More than a half of drugs in households were prescription-only medication (58.5 %). Approximately one third of prescription-only medications were obtained without prescription. The most common drugs obtained without prescription were anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products and antibacterials for systemic use. Ibuprofen and diclofenac were the most common self-medicated drugs. Number of prescription-only medications bought with ought prescription was significantly higher in households with children under 12 years of age compared to other types of households.


Our survey indicated that self-medication with prescription drugs appeared to be a rather common practice, which is far away from the concept of "responsible self-medication", especially regarding antibiotics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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