Purpose: To assess the practice of self-medication for oral health problems in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Materials and methods: This multiregional cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in four towns; Moradabad, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Bareilly over a 2-month period on 352 subjects. The questionnaire consisted of a demographic profile, questions related to problems of oral health for self-medication, substances used, source of the substance, duration, reason and source of advice for self-medication. The data were analysed using the chi-square test with significance set at p < 0.05.
Results: The prevalence of self-medication was 72%. The source of substances in most of the cases was a pharmacy shop (62.5%). The most frequent self-medicated oral health problem was toothache (55.6%), followed by other problems, and the most frequently used substance was analgesics (59%). 49.8% self-medicated due to lack of money for consulting a doctor and 45% of the population received advice from the pharmacist for self-medication.
Conclusion: The majority of those surveyed practiced self-medication using an array of drugs, e.g. analgesics, native herbs, antibiotics, etc, either alone or in combination. The main reason identified for self-medication was motivation from relatives and friends.