Prevalence of Self-Medication during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru

31 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2020

See all articles by Jean Franco Quispe-Cañari

Jean Franco Quispe-Cañari

Escuela de posgrado - Universidad Continental

Evelyn Fidel-Rosales

Universidad Continental

Diego Manrique

Universidad Continental

Jesús Mascaró-Zan

Universidad Continental

Katia Medalith Huamán-Castillón

Universidad Continental

Scherlli E. Chamorro–Espinoza

Universidad Nacional Hermilio Valdizán

Humberto Garayar–Peceros

Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga

Vania L. Ponce–López

Universidad Nacional de Cajamarca

Jhesly Sifuentes-Rosales

Universidad Continental

Aldo Álvarez-Risco

Universidad de Lima

Jaime A. Yanez

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas; Teoma Global

Christian Mejia

Escuela de posgrado - Universidad Continental

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 7, 2020

Abstract

Background: Self-medication impacts both negatively and positively the health of people, which has become evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study aimed to assess the prevalence of self-medicated drugs used for respiratory symptoms, as COVID-19 preventive, for its symptoms or once tested positive. To determine the perception of symptom relief and demographic variables that promote self-medication in Peru.

Methods: Cross-sectional, analytical, multicenter study in 3792 study respondents on the use, the reason for use, and perception of relief after the use of six drugs during the quarantine period. An online questionnaire was developed, pretested and submitted to the general public. Multivariable logistic regression was used to ascertain factors that influence an individual’s desire to self-medicate, associations were considered significant at p<0.05 and using region (coast, mountain and jungle) as cluster group.

Findings: The majority of respondents self-medicated with acetaminophen for respiratory symptoms and mainly because they had a cold or flu. It was observed that all the surveyed drugs (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, azithromycin, penicillin, antiretrovirals and hydroxychloroquine) were consumed for various symptoms including: fever, fatigue, cough, sneezing, muscle pain, nasal congestion, sore throat, headache and breathing difficulty. Over 90% of respondents perceived relief of at least one symptom. Multivariable logistic regression showed that older people have a higher frequency of antiretroviral self-medication, respondents who currently have a job had a higher frequency of penicillin self-medication, and that respondents from the Andes consumed less acetaminophen, while the ones from the rainforest consumed it more.

Interpretation: There were significant percentages of self-medication, including drugs without sufficient scientific evidence. Age, region where one lived and job status were variables associated with self-medication frequency. Continuous awareness and sensitization about the risks of self-medication are warranted.

Keywords: Self-medication, prevalence, drug use, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Peru

Suggested Citation

Quispe-Cañari, Jean Franco and Fidel-Rosales, Evelyn and Manrique, Diego and Mascaró-Zan, Jesús and Huamán-Castillón, Katia Medalith and Chamorro–Espinoza, Scherlli E. and Garayar–Peceros, Humberto and Ponce–López, Vania L. and Sifuentes-Rosales, Jhesly and Álvarez-Risco, Aldo and Yanez, Jaime A. and Mejia, Christian, Prevalence of Self-Medication during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru (September 7, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3688689 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3688689

Jean Franco Quispe-Cañari

Escuela de posgrado - Universidad Continental ( email )

Calle Junín 355
Miraflores
Lima
Peru

Evelyn Fidel-Rosales

Universidad Continental ( email )

Peru

Diego Manrique

Universidad Continental ( email )

Peru

Jesús Mascaró-Zan

Universidad Continental ( email )

Peru

Katia Medalith Huamán-Castillón

Universidad Continental ( email )

Peru

Scherlli E. Chamorro–Espinoza

Universidad Nacional Hermilio Valdizán ( email )

Peru

Humberto Garayar–Peceros

Universidad Nacional San Luis Gonzaga ( email )

Peru

Vania L. Ponce–López

Universidad Nacional de Cajamarca ( email )

Peru

Jhesly Sifuentes-Rosales

Universidad Continental ( email )

Peru

Aldo Álvarez-Risco

Universidad de Lima ( email )

Av. El Corregidor Cdra. 15, Los Sirius III
Edif. J, Dpto. 303, La Molina
Lima, Sucre 6101
United States

Jaime A. Yanez (Contact Author)

Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas ( email )

Prolongación Primavera 2390, Monterrico
Lima, Lima
Peru

Teoma Global ( email )

Avenida Santa Cruz 348
Lima, Lima
Peru

Christian Mejia

Escuela de posgrado - Universidad Continental ( email )

Calle Junín 355
Miraflores
Lima
Peru

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