Research Projects (Third party funds)


Self-medication with antimicrobials in urban and rural areas of Western India: A cross sectional study

Self-medication is often associated with risks such as adverse drug reactions, disease masking, inaccurate diagnosis of disease, increased morbidity, drug interactions, wastage of healthcare resources and antibiotic resistance.

We conducted a cross sectional study among the general population in urban (Matunga) and rural (Tala) areas of Maharashtra, India to explore self-medication practices and its associated factors.  Methods used comprise 2 stage cluster sampling and face to face interviews with a validated study questionnaire in a total of 1523 participants (living in 462 households), 51% in rural and 49% in urban areas. Descriptive and analytical statistical methods are applied for data analysis.

Overall self-medication prevalence was 29.1%. Participants having chronic disease and those living in urban areas were more likely to self-medicate. Fever (39.4%) was the most frequent indication and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents were the most self-medicated category of drugs (40.7%).  Self-medication prevalence for antibiotics was 8.6% for which cough (38.9%) was the main indication and ciprofloxacin (37.4%) was the drug most frequently used for antibiotic self-medication. Sixty one percent participants used the antibiotics till disappearance of the symptoms.

The present study documents that the prevalence of self-medication in western Maharashtra, India is mainly an urban phenomenon. This leads to the conclusion that the implementation of existing regulations should be prioritized in urban areas.

PhD Student involved

Mr Dnyanesh Limaye (PhD Programme “Epidemiology”)


Hochschule Hannover (Prof. Dr. Gerhard Fortwengel)

Funding agencies

Hochschule Hannover, Germany


Hochschule Hannover


  • Prof Dr Gérard Krause

    Head of Department Epidemiology



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