Riri Amanda Fitriana, Ayu Dwi Utami, Elza Rachman Panca Priyanda, Oktri Lestari, Futri H Andayani

Pharmacy Major, Har-Kausyar College of Health Sciences, Indragiri Hulu, Indonesia

Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]



Self-medication is a process carried out by a person in an effort to treat himself without the help of health workers. However, self-medication that occurs at the pharmacy will be directly guided by a pharmacist. For this reason, what a pharmacist needs to have is the ability to communicate with patients, both verbal communication and nonverbal communication. This study looks at how the preparation of prospective pharmacists in providing information to patients through verbal communication and creating a calm atmosphere through nonverbal communication.


Keywords: Pharmacists, self-mediation, communication


Received 1 August 2021, Revised 20 August 2021, Accepted 29 August 2021




Limited public knowledge about drugs and their use can lead to medication errors, especially when people do self-medication. According to WHO, self-medication is considered as the selection and use of modern medicine, herbs, and traditional medicine by an individual to treat illness or symptoms of illness. Self Medication is a choice taken by the community to increase the affordability of treatment with the aim of relieving or curing minor health complaints such as fever, dizziness, cough, flu, pain, ulcers, diarrhea and others without consulting medical practitioners and without medical supervision (Kartajaya, Taufik, Iwan, Bayu, & Nastiti, 2011); (Ocan et al., 2015); (Nining, 2019). In short, self medication is a community effort to treat themselves (Departemen Kesehatan, 2006). Self-medication is carried out if the patient gets medicines without a prescription, buys medicines based on old prescriptions, gives them from friends or family medicines, or uses leftover medicines (Adhikary, Tiwari, Singh, & Karoo, 2014).

Swamedikasi has risks such as fault diagnosis, the use of excessive drug dosage, as well as long-term use can cause adverse effects on society (Mamo, Ayele, & Dechasa, 2018). Practice ofswamedikasi can lead to the use of drugs is not exactly that cause drug interactions, resistance and side effects of drugs such as its sensitivity, allergy, shock and even other losses such as inaccuracy of diagnosis, use of drugs that are sometimes not appropriate, a waste of time to charge (Jajuli & Kurnia, 2018); (Nining, 2019). Basically, the drugs chosen by the community in the practice of community self-medication are influenced by several factors such as product advertisements, treatment experience, economic conditions, psychological conditions, knowledge and educational history (Kalungia, Burger, Godman, Costa, & Simuwelu, 2016). Even the clans that circulate on television usually do not convey complete information about a drug or its use . Based on data from the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency, drug advertisements on television, print media and radio do not comply with drug advertising regulations (Cahaya, Adawiyah, & Intannia, 2018).

The practice of self-medication is most often found in pharmacies. Pharmacy is a pharmaceutical service facility where pharmacists practice pharmacy (KemenKes, 2016). The role of pharmacists is described in 9 Stars of Phamacist by the World Health Organization (WHO), namely care-giver, decision-maker, communicator, manager, leader, life long learner, teacher, research, and entrepreneur. This is in line with the role of pharmacists as stated in the Peraturan Kementerian Kesehatan 73 of 2016, namely:

1.     Service provider. Pharmacists as service providers must interact with patients. Pharmacists must integrate their services into the health care system on an ongoing basis.

2.     Decision maker. Pharmacists must have the ability to make decisions by using all available resources effectively and efficiently.

3.     Communicator. Pharmacists must be able to communicate with patients and other health professionals regarding patient therapy. Therefore, you must have good communication skills.

4.     Leader. Pharmacists are expected to have the ability to become leaders. The expected leadership includes the courage to make empathetic and effective decisions, as well as the ability to communicate and manage the results of decisions.

5.     Manager. Pharmacists must be able to manage human, physical, budgetary and information resources effectively. Pharmacists must keep abreast of advances in information technology and be willing to share information about Drugs and other matters related to Drugs.

6.     Lifelong learner. Pharmacists must continue to improve knowledge, attitudes and professional skills through continuing education (Continuing Professional Development / CPD)

7.     Researcher . Pharmacists must always apply scientific principles/rules in collecting information on Pharmaceutical Preparations and Pharmaceutical Services and using it in the development and implementation of Pharmaceutical Services.

Therefore, pharmacists are required to be able to provide appropriate information to the public so that people can avoid the use of drug misuse and drug abuse through good communication. Good communication and taking place on an equal basis (not superior-inferior) is needed so that patients can provide the information needed by pharmacists to help them.



The preparation of this review article was carried out using a descriptive method with a literature review approach. With this method, the author wants to describe, build a concept or theory that is the basis of study in research.



The process of self-medication mostly occurs in pharmacies. Based on the answers from the respondents, it is known that the level of knowledge of respondents about self-medication and procedures is quite good. Respondents know about self-medication and procedures as much as 71.4% and 28.6% do not. Even so, all respondents 100% knew that a pharmacist had an important role in the self-medication process at the pharmacy. This means that the respondents are fully aware of their important role and existence, even though they do not know the procedure.

In Peraturan Menteri Kesehatan 73 of 2016 it is stated that one of the roles that a pharmacist must have is as a communicator. A pharmacist is required to be a good source of information for patients. Based on the results of the correspondence answers, as many as 65.2% of them knew about the 9 Stars of Phamacist by the World Health Organization (WHO ), while the other 34.8% did not know it. A total of 69.6% know about Peraturan Menteri Kesehatan No. 73 of 2016 concerning Pharmaceutical Service Standards, while 30.4% did not. This shows that the level of knowledge of prospective pharmacists is in the good category, although there are some people who do not know it. This is a concern because of the9 Stars of Phamacist by the World Health Organization and Peraturan Menteri Kesehatan No. 73 of 2016 is the basis for the implementation of services for a pharmacist. In the 9 Stars of Phamacist by the World Health Organization and Peraturan Menteri Kesehatan No. 73 of 2016 explained that one of the roles that a pharmacist must have is as a communicator. A pharmacist is required to be a good source of information for patients.

The communication requested is not only verbal communication but also nonverbal communication. Verbal communication includes words in the form of information, questions to patients, and motivation to patients. While nonverbal communication is behavior during interaction with patients. For example, if there is a patient who wants to buy or pick up medicine at a pharmacy, a pharmacist is expected to provide the information needed by the patient such as the name of the drug, its uses and side effects, as well as things to avoid when taking the drug. Information is also needed so that patients can use drugs according to their needs. It is also important to minimize medication errors that occur due to lack of information from pharmacists. There are 16 procedures that must be carried out by pharmacists when dealing with patients (Departemen Kesehatan, 2006), namely:

1.     Pharmacist introduces himself

2.     Identification: whether the patient comes alone or not

3.     Ask the patient if he or she has time to be briefed and explain the benefits of counselling.

4.     Asking the patient if the doctor has explained the drug given.

5.     Listen to all patient statements carefully and empathetically.

6.     Ask if there is a history of allergies

7.     Explain to the patient the name of the drug, indications, how to use it.

8.     Explain to the patient about the dose, frequency and duration of use of the drug.

9.     Make a medication schedule that is tailored to the patient's daily activities and ask if the patient has difficulty following the schedule.

10.  Explain the necessary actions if you forget to take your medicine

11.  Explaining things that need to be avoided while taking medication

12.  Describe possible drug-drug, or drug-food interactions and how to deal with them

13.  Explain side effects and how to deal with side effects

14.  Explain how to store properly

15.  Ensure the patient understands all the information provided by asking the patient to repeat it.

16.  Document all important information

In other sources, self-medication services can be carried out by applying the WWHAM (What, What Symptoms, How Long, Action, Medicine) method which contains 5 systematic guiding questions to gather information from pharmacy visitors who ask for drugs without a prescription. The questions for self-medication services can be seen in the following table:


5 questions


Who is the drug for?

What symptoms?

What symptoms do you feel?

How Long?

How long have these symptoms lasted?


What actions have been taken to overcome these symptoms?


What medications are the patient currently taking?


During the communication process, pharmacists must also be able to interact with nonverbal communication. Pharmacists must be able to see the situation and condition of the patient. Pharmacists are required to be able to make patients communicate in a calm state. This is where the pharmacist's nonverbal communication skills are tested. The patient's anxiety, panic, or embarrassment are nonverbal signs that a pharmacist should pay attention to. When the patient panics, the patient cannot explain his condition calmly and causes the pharmacist to be unable to help. For this reason, pharmacists must have the ability to deal with these conditions. Nonverbal communication is as important as verbal communication. A pharmacist can certainly provide information about the drug that the patient needs, but not all pharmacists are able to provide a sense of comfort when explaining it. Several cases were found when the patient did self-medication, the pharmacist was unfriendly so that the patient could not explain the pain he was suffering from. As a result, the patient's efforts to recover were not achieved. Poor patient relations can be seen from how pharmacists treat patients in nonverbal communicati.



The practice of self-medication is unavoidable, so what a pharmacist can do is to monitor it. When self-medication occurs, the pharmacist must be able to provide the information that the patient needs. Good communication consisting of verbal and nonverbal communication is an ability that must be possessed by pharmacists. Good communication makes the patient feel healed even before taking the medicine.




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