Prevalence and pattern of self-medication in Karachi: A community survey | Afridi | Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences Old Website

Prevalence and pattern of self-medication in Karachi: A community survey

Mohammad Iqbal Afridi, Ghulam Rasool, Rabia Tabassum, Marriam Shaheen, Siddiqullah ., M. Shujauddin


Objective: To study the prevalence and pattern of self-medication among adult males and females in Karachi, Pakistan.

Methods: This cross-sectional community- based survey was  carried out at five randomly selected towns of Karachi (Defence, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, North Nazimabad, Malir, Orangi town) over a period of 3 months (October, November & December 2012). A sample size of 500 adult cases (250 males & 250 females), with systemic random selection from different towns of Karachi were inducted in this study. The city was divided in 5 zones and one town from each zone was selected by systemic randomization. First available male and female from each randomly selected house were included in the study. After consent and confidentiality assurance they were interviewed on semi-structured Performa designed for this purpose. Results were analyzed and tabulated through SPSS v14.0.

Result: The prevalence of self-medication in males and females in Karachi is found to be 84.8% (males 88.4% and females 81.2%). The most frequent symptoms for which self-medication used were headache (32.7%), fever (23.3%) and the medicines used were painkillers (28.8%), fever reducer medicines (19.8%). The most common reason 33.3% was previous experience with similar symptom.

Conclusion: Self-medication is highly prevalent (84.8%) in Karachi. It was frequently used for headache followed by fever. Predominantly painkillers, fever reducer and cough syrups were used in the form of tablets and syrups. Main source of medicines for males were friends and for females were relatives.


How to cite this:Afridi MI, Rasool G, Tabassum R, Shaheen M, Siddiqullah, Shujauddin M. Prevalence and pattern of self-medication in Karachi: A community survey. Pak J Med Sci 2015;31(5):1241-1245.   doi:

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