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Revista Cubana de Medicina General Integral

Print version ISSN 0864-2125On-line version ISSN 1561-3038


LARA FERNANDEZ, Gloria Esther et al. Self-Medication in Patients Older than Sixty Years and with Neurologic Diseases. Rev Cubana Med Gen Integr [online]. 2021, vol.37, n.3, e1425.  Epub Sep 01, 2021. ISSN 0864-2125.


Self-medication is a growing phenomenon and, today, has been considered a public health concern.


To estimate the level of self-medication related to the diagnostic delay of patients with neurological diseases and the factors associated with this self-care tactic.


An observational and cross-sectional study was designed, in including 102 patients and one hundred relatives from Plaza de la Revolución Municipality, who received attention, during a one-year period (June 2018-June 2019), in the neurology consultation of the Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, and had a diagnosis of neurological diseases.


Of the total number of patients, 45.1% manifested to medicate themselves; it was more frequent in women (63.1%), with a predominance in non-university patients (90%) and housewives (54.3%). The main symptom that motivated self-medication was headache (30.4%), while nonopioid analgesics made up the group with the highest consumption (23.9%). Latency regarding the diagnosis of neurological diseases in the self-medicated group was between ten and nineteen months higher than in the non-self-medicated group.


Self-medication is a very frequent practice, which caused the diagnostic and therapeutic delay of various neurological diseases of low incidence, ruining their adequate evolution.

Keywords : self-care; self-medication; polypharmacy; aging; neurologic diseases.

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