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Self-medication practice among children in Antananarivo, Madagascar

Rosa L. Tsifiregna, Safidinarindra H. Razafimahatratra, Nirina H. Raveloharimino, Rivo L. H. Rakotomalala, Noeline Ravelomanana.

Abstract
Background: Self-medication is very common in pediatrics. Little is known about self-medication on children in Antananarivo. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the practice of self-medication on children by their mothers.
Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was done by visiting homes. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to gather data on self-medication. Mothers were selected by simple random sampling.
Results: Out of the 383 mothers interviewed, 157 have practiced self-medication. The prevalence was 40.99%. The fever was the main symptom treated with paracetamol. On the other hand, the oral rehydration salt has been little used, 6.25% before the consultation. The inappropriate use of antibiotics was found in this study. Drugs were of illegal origin in 40.27% of the cases. The urgency was the main reason for self-medication. Over 80% of mothers knew the risks of self-medication. Thus, the high level of maternal education was among the factors influencing this practice, particularly for children older than 60 months.
Conclusions: Information to mothers about the responsible self-medication is necessary.

Key words: Children, Medicine, Mother, Knowledge, Self-medication


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