Self-Medication and its Effective Factors in Islamic Republic of Iran: A population based Study

  • Elham Ehsani-Chimeh
  • Ali Davoudi-Kiakalayeh
  • Shahrokh Yousefzadeh Chabok
  • Enayatollah Homaie Rad
Keywords: Self-medication, Drug utilization, Income, Iran


Background: Self-medication is the use of drugs which have not been prescribed by health professionals. It is considered an important issue especially in developing countries because of side effects of irrational use of drugs and economic burden of disease. This study aim to analyze the prevalence of self-medication in Iran by provinces and socio economic and demographic factors that affect it.

Methods: Data of Iranian household income and expenditures survey (HEIS) in 2016 (source Iranian Statistical Center) was used in this study. Multilevel mixed effect regression was used to find relation between explanatory variables and self-medication ratio. STATA SE v 14 was used to perform the analysis.

Results: the results of this study showed that income (coefficient = - 0.00286) and socioeconomic status had negative significant relationship with self-medication ratio, while self-medication ratio was higher in some provinces like Ardebil, Sistan va Baluchistan and Ilam and it was lower in some provinces like Khuzestan and Kurdistan.

Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication among Iranian people was relatively high and this ratio varies in provinces. In addition to promote population awareness about undesirable effects of the irrational drug consumption, developing strategies for drug consumption by improving prescribing pattern, OTC drugs and also increasing inspection of pharmacies is needed.