PREVALENCE, PRACTICE, PERCEPTION OF SELF-MEDICATION PATTERN AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS
Objective: The use of drugs (prescription as well as non-prescription by the individual for treating self-diagnosed conditions/symptoms is a practice prevalent all around the world, though the extent, the reason may vary. The practice of self-medication is increasingly becoming a part of self-care. If practiced properly and with the authentic knowledge of drugs, it can save resources such as time and money. However, its improper use may lead to various health problems like adverse drug reactions, prolonged suffering, and drug-dependence and increase resistance among various pathogens. It has many implications, especially among medical students who have some knowledge and exposure to drugs and can present a serious threat to professionalism in medicine and it has the potential to put at risk public trust into this profession. The aim of this research was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among medical students.
Methods: Research was performed as a cross-sectional study and it included 150, 2nd year (4th semester) students of a medical college. Students filled out a questionnaire created for the purpose of this research and consisted of both open-ended and close-ended questions about demographic and self-medication Consenting students anonymously filled the questionnaire. Questions about self-medication were related to the period of the previous three months.
Results: Out of 150 filled questionnaires, data of 126 were analysed as twenty-four Questionnaires were incomplete. 90.47%% medical students were found to practice self-medication. Symptoms for which they took the drugs for self-medication were fever (49.68%) followed by headache, common cold/cough and pain abdomen. Drugs taken by them for self-medication were Paracetamol (85.79%), antibiotics (77.54%), analgesics, Antihistaminic and cough suppressants. Ease (43.65%) was cited as the main reason for self-medication by the respondents. Most common source of drug information was their experience in the past illness (54.03%) Of the respondents 90.48% knew about adverse drug reactions and 93.65% knew about drug-drug interactions.
Conclusion: This study shows that the practice of self-medication is rampant among medical students of the institute. In this situation, awareness should be created toward appropriate antibiotic usage and the practice of responsible self-medication needs to be promoted among future healthcare providers. Furthermore, stringent implementation of laws governing the sale of prescription medicines can help in limiting the self-medication practice.
2. WHO guidelines for the regulatory assessment of medicinal products for use in self-medication. WHO 2000. Available from: http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/pdf/s2218e/s2218e.pdf. [Last accessed on 12 Feb 2021]
3. Figueiras A, Caamano F, Gestal Otero JJ. Sociodemographic factors related to self-medication in spain. Eur J Epidemiol 2000;16:19-26.
4. James H, Handu SS, Al Khaja KAJ, Sequeira RP. Evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first year medical students. Med Princ Pract 2006;15:270–5.
5. Global Self-care federation: the story of self-care and self-medication. Available from: http://www.selfcarefederation.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/2019-10/WSMI%20Becomes%20Global%20Self-Care%20Federation.pdf. [Last accessed on 12 Feb 2021]
6. World Health Organization. The role of the pharmacist in self-care and self-medication. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/65860/WHO_DAP_98.13.pd;jsessionid=5FBABDF86D91393322D63A547E81BCD5?sequence. [Last accessed on 12 Feb 2021]
7. Badiger S, Kundapur R, Jain A, Kumar A, Patanashetty S, Thakolkaran N, et al. Self-medication patterns among medical students in South India. Am Med J 2012;5:217-20.
8. El Ezz NF, Ez-Elarab HS. Knowledge, attitude and practice of medical students towards self-medication at Ain Shams University, Egypt. J Prev Med Hyg 2011;52:196-200.
9. Sarahroodi S, Maleki Jamshid A, Sawalha AF, Mikaili P, Safaeian L. Pattern of self-medication with analgesics among Iranian University students in central Iran. J Family Community Med 2012;19:125-9.
10. James H, Handu SS, Al Khaja KA, Otoom S, Sequeira RP. Evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first-year medical students. Med Princ Pract 2006;15:270-5.
11. Kumar R, Goyal A, Padhy BM, Gupta YK. Self-medication practice and factors influencing it among medical and paramedical students in India: a two-period comparative cross-sectional study. J Nat Sci Biol Med 2016;7:143-8.
12. Walia JK. Over the counter sale of drugs-how to curb this practice? India Medical Times; 2012. Available from: http://www.indiamedicaltimes.com/2012/11/13/over-the-counter-sale-of-drugshow-to-curb-this-practice/. [Last accessed on 09 Jan 2021]
13. Patel PM, Prajapati AK, Ganguly B, Gajjar BM. Study on the impact of Pharmacology teaching on knowledge, attitude and practice on self-medication among medical students. Int J Med Sci Public Health 2013;2:181-6.
14. Banerjee I, Bhadury T. Self-medication practice among undergraduate medical students in a tertiary care medical college, West Bengal. J Postgrad Med 2012;58:127-31.
15. Gutema GB, Gadisa DA, Kidanemariam ZA, Berhe DF, Berhe AH, Hadera MG, et al. Self-medication practices among health sciences students: the case of Mekelle University. J Appl Pharm Sci 2011;1:183.
16. Kasulkar AA, Gupta M. Self medication practices among medical students of a private institute. Indian J Pharm Sci 2015;77:178-82.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.