Assessment of Self-Medication Practice Among 4th Yr MBBS Students in NMC, Multan-Pakistan

Anam Khalid


BACKGROUND: Self-medication is the use of drug without advice, prescription or supervision of a physician to treat self-diagnosed symptoms. It is a very common health issue practiced worldwide. Inappropriate practicing of self-medication results in adverse health effects like resistance to antibiotics, drug dependence, and prolonged use of some drugs. OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to investigate the pattern of self-medication practices, the common type illnesses for which self-medication has been used by 4th year MBBS students and to identify frequently used drugs, determinants of self-medication, drug information sources, side effects encountered and educational status of parents of students adopting self-medication. METHODS: This is an observational study that has been conducted on 4th year MBBS students with the help of a cross-sectional questionnaire (mentioning different groups of drugs) among a sample of 220 students. Duration of the study was two weeks i.e. from 15th March, 2015 to 28th March, 2015. Data was analyzed by SPSS V 14 and the results are expressed in counts and percentage.RESULTS: Out of 220 students, 44% (96±2) practiced self-medication during last 1 year. The most common symptom being self-medicated is headache (50%) followed by fever (32%) and common cold (11%). 77% of participants’ self-medicate due to convenience and easy approach. 51% of participants’ self-medicating use their pharmacology knowledge as source of drug information. 30% of students change doses of drugs prescribed by doctor. 3% among those self-medicating students develop adverse drug effects during last 1 yr. Among 96±2 students, 60% (n=58) live in hostels away from parents and 41% students had educational status of parents up to matriculation and 27% have illiterate parents and female to male ratio is 3:2.CONCLUSION: Self-medication is an emerging health issue worldwide even among medical students. There is a dire need to take steps by health authorities regarding pros and cons of self-medication. There is a need of community awareness regarding this issue.

Keywords: Self-medication, medical students, analgesics, pharmacology knowledge.

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