SELF-MEDICATION PRACTICES DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: A CROSS-SECTIONAL SURVEY
Keywords:Covid-19, Pandemic, Self-medication, Drugs, Healthcare
Objective: Self-medication is a worldwide practice in which individuals, families, and/or communities choose pharmaceuticals to address health conditions without consulting a doctor. It impacts the health of people both negatively as well as positively. This study aims to determine the prevalence of self-medication for COVID-19 like symptoms during the pandemic.
Methods: This is an online questionnaire-based survey on the perceptions and use of certain drugs for COVID-like symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. 168 people responded to the questionnaire.
Results: Out of 168 respondents, 53.0% were males. 71.4% were below 30 years of age and, 25.6% were 31–60 years. The majority (72.6%) were unmarried. 50.0% had studied up to university level. 49.4% were unemployed. 39.9% were healthcare workers. 59.9% had suffered from respiratory symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. All those who developed symptoms had self-medicated. The most commonly used drugs were Paracetamol (85.0%), Azithromycin (58.0%), Expectorants (30.0%), Ivermectin (18.0%), Doxycycline (16.0%), Corticosteroids (7.0%), and Hydroxychloroquine (4.0%). The major sources of information about the disease and drugs were pharmacists (46.6%) and the internet (28.0%).
Conclusion: There were significant percentages of self-medication during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the drugs without sufficient scientific evidence.
Mir SA, Ahangar J, Shakeel D. Comparative assessment of antibiotic self-medication practices among under-graduate medical students and general population. Int J Res Med Sci 2019;7:4563-7.
Hughes CM, McElnay JC, Fleming GF. Benefits and risks of self medication. Drug Saf 2001;24:1027-37.
Tikoo R. Self-medication for Covid Has Turned Disastrous. Families Must Not Assume Doctors’ Role. Available from: https://www.theprint. in/opinion/self-medication-for-covid-has-turned-disastrous-families-must-not-assume-doctors-role/663593.
Wong LE, Hawkins JE, Langness S, Murrell KL, Iris P, Sammann A. Where are all the patients? Addressing covid-19 fear to encourage sick patients to seek emergency care. NEJM Catal Innov Care Deliv 2020;10:193.
Quispe-Cañari JF, Fidel-Rosales E, Manrique D, Mascaró-Zan J, Huamán-Castillón KM, Chamorro-Espinoza SE, et al. Self-medication practices during the COVID-19 pandemic among the adult population in Peru: A cross-sectional survey. Saudi Pharm J 2021;29:1-11.
Bennadi D. Self-medication: A current challenge. J Basic Clin Pharma 2014;5:19-23.
World Health Organization. The Role of the Pharmacist in Self-care and Self-medication. Geneva: Hangue, World Health Organization; 1998.
Ruiz ME. Risks of self-medication practices. Curr Drug Saf 2010;5:315- 23.
World Health Organization. WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard. Available from: https://www.covid19.who.int.
Onchonga D. A Google trends study on the interest in self-medication during the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease pandemic. Saudi Pharm J 2020;28:903-4.
Tandon T, Dubey AK, Dubey S, Arora E, Hassan MN. Effects of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on medical advice seeking and medication practices of home-bound non-COVID patients. J Educ Health Promot 2021;10:28.
Molento MB. COVID-19 and the rush for self-medication and self-dosing with ivermectin: A word of caution. One Health 2020;10:100148.
Ahmed I, Hasan M, Akter R, Sarkar BK, Rahman M, Sarker S, et al. Behavioral preventive measures and the use of medicines and herbal products among the public in response to COVID-19 in Bangladesh: A cross-sectional study. PLoS One 2020;15:e0243706.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 SHAKEEL AHMAD MIR, DANISH SHAKEEL, ZULFKAR LATIEF QADRI
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The publication is licensed under CC By and is open access. Copyright is with author and allowed to retain publishing rights without restrictions.