Self-medication is the act of taking medicines by yourself, in other word, without medical guidance.

Many times, seen as a solution to an immediate relief of some symptoms can bring consequences worse than we can imagine, because the incorrect use of a medicine can entail the increase of a disease, since this incorrect use can hide some symptoms. If the medicine is an antibiotic, the attention needs to be doubled, because the abusive use of these products can increase easily the resistance against microorganisms, what compromises the efficiency of treatments.

Other huge worry related to self-medication is the mismatched combinations. In this case, the use of a medicine can annul or potentiate the effect of the other.

The most common risks to the health of who is used to self-medication are:

  • Delay in the correct diagnosis of the disease due to masking of symptoms, making the situation even worse.
  • Possible occurrence of adverse effects that are unwanted and can be serious, such as allergic reactions.
  • Creating resistance to micro-organisms, as in the case of antibiotics.
  • Some drugs can be addictive.
  • Poisoning, which depending on the severity can be lethal.

Some important data


of Brazilian consume medicines indicated by non-qualified people1


declare usually increase the dosage by themselves1

24 K

people dies by drug intoxication every year in Brazil2

References: Virtual Library in Health

1. DEPARTAMENTO DE PESQUISAS DO ICTQ. Pesquisa – Uso Racional de Medicamentos, 2014.

2. SOUSA, H. W. O; SILVA, J. L.; Neto, M. S. A importância do Profissional Farmacêutico no Combate à Automedicação no Brasil. Revista Eletrônica de Farmácia, v. 5, n. 1, p. 67-72,2008.