This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Self-medication is a common practice not only in Brazil but also in other countries. It consists of "the selection and use of drugs by people to treat self-diagnosed diseases or symptoms and must be understood as an element of self-care". Included in this prescription generic name (or orientation) of drugs by non-qualified people, as friends, family or the pharmacy clerks, these cases are also called "illegal medical practice". The present data confirm the importance of the study of self-medication and support the hypothesis of a naive and excessive belief of our society in the power of drugs, which contributes to the growing demand for pharmaceutical products for any type of disorder, as banal and self-limited. Thus, the drug was incorporated into the dynamics of consumer society and therefore is subject to the same tensions, interests and stiff competition in any market sector, moving away from its primary aim, the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. These results reinforce the need to inform people on the proper use of medications, as well as appropriate measures to ensure the supply of products needed, effective, safe and affordable.
This is a short literature review article on self-medication pattern among Brazilian users.