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Acta Odontológica Latinoamericana

versão On-line ISSN 1852-4834


STOLBIZER, Federico et al. Self-medication in patients seeking care in a dental emergency service. Acta odontol. latinoam. [online]. 2018, vol.31, n.2, pp.117-121. ISSN 1852-4834.

The aims of this work were: To determine what percentage of first-time patients to the Dental Emergency Department at the School of Dentistry of Buenos Aires University had taken medications to relieve or treat their condition. To determine what percentage of these had used self-medication, and which were the most frequently taken medicines. To determine whether there is an association between self-medication and educational level, and between self-medication and whether the patient has health coverage. This was an observational, cross-sectional study which reviewed 567 clinical histories of patients who visited the Dental Emergency Department from March 2015 to September 2016. The following parameters were assessed: sex, age, reason for consultation, medication, dose, interval, duration and indication. Patients'educational level and whether they had health coverage were ascertained. Confidence intervals of 95% were calculated for percentages using the Wilson score method. Inferential analyses were performed using the Chi-square test (f). Significance level was set at 5%. Eighty five percent (85%,.n=481) of the patients had taken at least one medication; 77% (n=372) had used self-medication. The most frequently used medicines were non-steroid antiinflammatory drugs (61%), antibiotics (34%) and glucocorticoids (2%). No association was found between self-medication and patients' having health coverage (2=13; p=0.08). No significant association was found between educational level and selfmedication (2=10; p=0.22). Nevertheless, the lowest percentages of self-medication were found in subjects with complete university studies (77%; CI95: 60% to 89%), while the highest percentages were found in subjects with incomplete primary education (89%; CI95: 69% to 97%), complete primary education (92%; CI95: 82% to 96%) and incomplete secondary educations (90%; CI95: 84% to 94%).High levels of selfmedication were found in the study population. Although no association was found between educational level and self-medication behavior, the percentage of self-medication was higher among patients with lower educational levels. The high level of self-medication highlights the importance of conducting campaigns to raise awareness about the adequate use of medicines.

Palavras-chave : Self-medication; Emergency service; Hospital; Dentistry.

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