International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 373–378 | Cite as

Home pharmacies in Serbia: an insight into self-medication practice

  • Milica Paut KusturicaEmail author
  • Zdenko Tomic
  • Zoran Bukumiric
  • Ljiljana Ninkovic
  • Ana Tomas
  • Nebojsa Stilinovic
  • Ana Sabo
Research Article


Background Worldwide data indicate that self-medication is frequently used inappropriately. Although self-medication is encouraged in most of the countries by introducing over-the-counter drugs, it bears the risk of misuse of drugs issued on prescription due to low observance of legislation of medicines requiring prescription by some pharmacies. Objective The objective of this study was to explore the self-medication practice, with an emphasis on self-medication with prescription-only medications. Setting Households in Novi Sad city, Serbia. Method The study was conducted over 8 month period (December 2011–July 2012) and involved a random sample of households. The questionnaire-based study and personal insight into household drug supplies was performed by a trained interviewer. Main outcome measure Number of drugs obtained without prescription or without consulting a physician in surveyed households. Results The total number of drug items present in the 383 households was 4,384 with a median of 11 drugs per household. More than a half of drugs in households were prescription-only medication (58.5 %). Approximately one third of prescription-only medications were obtained without prescription. The most common drugs obtained without prescription were anti-inflammatory and antirheumatic products and antibacterials for systemic use. Ibuprofen and diclofenac were the most common self-medicated drugs. Number of prescription-only medications bought with ought prescription was significantly higher in households with children under 12 years of age compared to other types of households. Conclusion Our survey indicated that self-medication with prescription drugs appeared to be a rather common practice, which is far away from the concept of “responsible self-medication”, especially regarding antibiotics.


Home pharmacies Prescription-only medications Self-medication Serbia 



We would like to thank all study participants involved in this research for giving up their time to take part in the study.


This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological development, Republic of Serbia, Project No. 41012.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij ter bevordering der Pharmacie 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milica Paut Kusturica
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zdenko Tomic
    • 1
  • Zoran Bukumiric
    • 2
  • Ljiljana Ninkovic
    • 3
  • Ana Tomas
    • 1
  • Nebojsa Stilinovic
    • 1
  • Ana Sabo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Novi SadNovi SadSerbia
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Medical Statistics and InformaticsUniversity of BelgradeBelgradeSerbia
  3. 3.Faculty of PharmacyEuropean UniversityNovi SadSerbia

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