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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 580650, 8 pages
Research Article

Self-Medication Practices among Parents in Italy

Department of Experimental Medicine, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy

Received 2 December 2014; Accepted 28 December 2014

Academic Editor: Ziad Daoud

Copyright © 2015 Luca Garofalo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aims of this cross-sectional survey were to document the prevalence, the determinants, and the reasons of oral medication use without the prescription of a physician among a random sample of 672 parents of students attending randomly selected public schools in Italy. A total of 69.2% practiced self-medication at least once. The odds of having performed a self-medication were higher in females, in younger population, and in those who have had a health problem in the preceding year and were lower in respondents with a middle or lower school level of education. Among those reporting experience of self-medication, 53.4% have practiced at least once in the last year and this was more likely for those who have had a health problem. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were more frequently used without a prescription in the last year. Two-thirds inappropriately self-medicated in the last year at least once. Of those who did not report a self-medication, 13.1% were willing to practice it. Females were more willing and those with a secondary school level of education less willing to practice self-medication. The frequency of oral self-medication was quite high and in most cases inappropriate with a potential impact on the health status and educative programs are needed.