When it comes to treating minor ailments, Indians rely more on the advice of doctors rather than their neighbourhood pharmacists, says a global study released Tuesday.

The study done by research company Neilsen benchmarked the incidence of 17 common minor ailments - all of which can be treated with non-prescription medicines.

Globally, respondents suffered from an average of almost four such ailments in the last one year.

“Consumer response on their consideration to seek advice from a doctor or a pharmacist varied across ailments, but one thing was established: for any ailment Indians would seek advice from the doctor more than their neighbourhood pharmacist,” said Seetha Sethuraman, director (client solution) with Nielsen.

The study found that 56 percent of Indians surveyed suffered from cold in the last 12 months, although this was the fourth highest percentage globally. The next highest percentage of ailments that Indians suffered from was cough (54 percent) and headache (53 percent).

“The percentage of Indians who will always seek advice from a doctor is the highest for those who suffer from Hayfever (33 percent), but consumers in India mostly seek advice for these minor ailments from a doctor only when symptoms are more severe than they would normally experience,” the study said.

Nearly a quarter of Indians (23 percent) would always seek advice of the doctor when suffering from sinus congestion, making it the second highest ailment for which doctors are consulted, followed by flu (21 percent).

Ailments where doctors’ advice was rarely considered were period pains (54 percent), hangover (47 percent), and sleeping problems (34 percent).

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