New Delhi: Fifty-two percent of Indians indulge in self-medication due to time constraints or with the perception of doing away with doctors' fees, reveals a recent study.
The study conducted by Lybrate, a healthcare firm, said self-medication causes health problems like liver damage, strokes and ulcers to kidney failure, miscarriage and diarrhoea among many others.
Many a time, the health damage is irreversible.
A total of 20,000 respondents were reached out to in 10 cities across India for the research.
A nationwide awareness campaign -- say no to self-medication -- was also launched on Tuesday by Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services.
"In India, self-medication undoubtedly is a big problem. People do not check with doctors before taking a pill in cases of minor health problems. They take medicines on their own, forgetting that this might have adverse effect on their health," Prasad said during the launch of the campaign.
The study also said that in India, easy availability of drugs for minor health ailments was leading to the menace of self-medication.
"People take pills based on the suggestion of chemists, friends or just by themselves depending upon their past experiences. The internet boom has further worsened the situation with people going online to search about possible options of medicines for their health problems," the study said.
Lybrate CEO Saurabh Arora said there was an urgent need to arrest the trend and apprise people about the harmful effects of self-medication.
"The important link for our campaign is the chemists who sell drugs to people and so we are asking them to support the campaign and make it successful. We will start from Delhi-NCR and take the campaign to other parts," he said.