Self-medication with oral contraceptives in the Urban District of Antananarivo

Julio El-C Rakotonirina, Manitatsoa Razafimahefa, Barbara E.E. Vololonarivelo, Valéry B. Andriantoky, Mamy J-J Razafimahatratra, Jean de Dieu M. Rakotomanga, Henriette Rahantalalao Ratsimbazafimahef, Nantenaina S. Randrianjafisamindrakotrok


Background: Oral contraception is the second hormonal contraceptive method most used in the world. Currently, self-medication with oral contraceptives experienced resurgence, most often with no medical supervision. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of self-medication with oral contraceptives, identify the socio-economic status and identify the reasons why women aged 21 to 49 of the Urban District of Antananarivo (UDA) practice self-medication with oral contraceptives.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted, where an interviewer-administered questionnaire has been used to collect data. Targeted female respondents aged 21-49 were asked about their contraceptive use during the twelve months preceding the survey.

Results: Self-medication prevalence rate is 59.1%, considering oral contraception users. Moreover, it is higher among married women, those aged <36, less educated and having more than two children. Financial problem, affordability of the pills, former use of pills and information by their surroundings are the reasons why women self-medicate. Women who received a medical prescription at the first take of the pills are more likely to presently practice self-medication.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the evidence of a high prevalence of self-medication in the UDA. Self-medication can be harmful: the fight against its risks should get reinforced.


Self-medication, Oral contraceptive, Urban District, Antananarivo

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