More than a third of urban Indians would self-medicate if they showed Covid symptoms
June 11th, 2021, Sonika Choubey

More than a third of urban Indians would self-medicate if they showed Covid symptoms

More than half take homemade immunity boosters or follow home remedies as preventive measures against the virus

According to YouGov’s latest study more than one-third (35%) of urban Indians are likely to self-medicate if they or someone in their family showed Covid symptoms. Although a majority (56%) said they would reach out to a certified medical practitioner, a large proportion rely on self-medication.

The rampant self-medication at home without any expert supervision has become a concern and many health experts are talking about the dangers of indulging in such treatments.

Interestingly, younger adults (18-39 years) are more likely to self-medicate themselves upon developing symptoms whereas older adults (40+) would turn to doctors for help.

On being asked about the treatment people are most likely to take for Covid-19, allopathy emerged as the top choice of nearly half of the respondents (47%). Some would opt for ayurvedic medicines (18%) or home remedies (13%) for treatment, while others would rely on homeopathy or naturopathy for cure.

In order to protect themselves from the virus, people are following various safety measures. Most people said they regularly exercise & eat healthy (69%) or follow WHO recommended guidelines (65%) as precautionary measures against Covid-19. Some take medicines or supplements prescribed by a healthcare practitioner while others have taken a vaccine to safeguard themselves (38% and 34% respectively).

Even though urban Indians are following guidelines given by the government and health experts, a considerable proportion are indulging in self-medication or following unscientific remedies as preventive measures against the virus.

More than half (53%) claimed they take homemade immunity boosters like kadha, ginger, honey, etc. to prevent the infection, with women relying more on these remedies as compared to men (59% vs 48%).

Many consume ayurvedic health supplements or herbal medicines like Coronil (50%) or turn to self-prescribed vitamins and supplements (44%).

Despite warnings by doctors against unscientific practices, a fifth (21%) have adopted the method of spraying alcohol, chlorine or cow’s urine to ward off the virus. It is interesting to note, adults between the age of 30-39 years are most likely to adopt these methods as compared to the rest.

There are some differences amongst regions when it comes to popular preventive measures. Respondents from North India are more likely than residents from other regions to claim they take homemade immunity boosters or spray alcohol or urine on their body as a precaution against Covid. On the other hand, residents of South India are more likely than the rest to resort to vaccination in order to safeguard themselves against the virus.

Data collected online by YouGov Omnibus among 1016 respondents in the country in June 2021 using YouGov’s panel of over 11 million people worldwide. Data is representative of the adult online population in the country.