gms | German Medical Science

13. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie

02.11. bis 03.11.2006, Berlin

Self-medication with OTC-drugs in childhood and youth - Results of The German Health Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS)

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author H. Knopf - Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany
  • H.-U. Melchert - Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany

Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelanwendungsforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie e.V. (GAA). 13. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Arzneimittelforschung und Arzneimittelepidemiologie. Berlin, 02.-03.11.2006. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2006. Doc06gaa09

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Veröffentlicht: 30. Oktober 2006

© 2006 Knopf et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Context and Aims of the Study: Population representative data about self-medication in childhood and youth are sparse in Germany and worldwide. To fill this information gap the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, developed and conducted a drug utilization survey as a part of a national health interview and examination survey for children and adolescents in Germany.

Material and Method: The survey targets a population representative sample of children and adolescents 0-17 years of age non-institutionalized. Overall, 17,641 study participants answered standardized questionnaires regarding the use of prescription drugs and self-medication within seven days prior to the interview. Relevant health data, lifestyle and behavioural characteristics as well as data on morbidity and key physiological parameters are also available for every study participant.

Results: 9.5% of all children and 23.3% of all drug users reported exclusive use of self-medicated drugs. Self-medication rates did not differ between boys (9.9%) and girls (9.2%). Significant differences were observed between migrants (6.3%) and non-migrants (10.1%). ‘Symptom relief’ was the most frequently stated indication for self-medication (26% of all cases of self- medications); within this category ‘pain’ was the most essential subgroup. The second most frequent indication was ‘prophylaxis‘ (23%). Forms of application are tablets (30%), ointments (27%) and guttae (13%). In multivariate analysis, a higher age group (14-17 years OR: 2.3 CI 1.8-2.9), residence in former West Germany (OR: 1.2 CI: 1.1-1.4) or larger city areas (OR: 1.4 CI: 1.2-1.7), a higher social status (upper class OR: 1.5 CI: 1.3-1.8), and a non-migrant background (OR: 1.6 CI 1.3-2.0) were predictive of self medication.

Conclusion: KiGGS data provide a unique opportunity to validly describe the area of self-medication in this age group, and impressively prove the importance of self medication in the very young.