DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20160097

Patterns and practice of self-medication among children presenting with acute respiratory tract infection or diarrhoea

Shashi Kant Dhir, Amit Jain, Meenal Batta, Gaganpreet Singh

Abstract


Background: Self-medication is quite prevalent in many parts of the world and has led to wastage of precious manpower and time due to many adverse consequences. As a result there is great burden on a country both financially as well as health point of view. The purpose of this study was to identify the pattern and practice of self-medication among children presenting with Acute Respiratory Tract Infection or Diarrhoea in a tertiary care hospital of northern India.

Methods: A single point cross sectional study was conducted in 500 parents accompanying the children in the Paediatrics out Patient Department (OPD) of a Medical College in Northern India. The tool used for the study was a predesigned questionnaire. The data was evaluated using descriptive statistical analysis.

Results: Out of 500 subjects 486 were found eligible for enrolment. Out of these eligible subjects, 308 (63.3%) parents reported history of self-medication. 143 (51.3%) male children were administered self-medication. This number was proportionately higher in females (79.7%). The drug most commonly administered were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (64.3%) followed by antibiotics and cough and cold preparations. The most common source of drug procurement was the left over drugs from previous treatment (75.2%) followed by purchase from a medical store. Most common reason for self-medication was previous experience with the prescribed drugs (76.6%).

Conclusions: The problem of self-medication of prescription only drugs is quite prevalent in this part of the country. As self-medication has its complications and adversities proper orientation and awareness of the population about self-medication is of utmost importance for proper utilization of resources and manpower. Further the government agencies should ensure proper implementation and supervision of laws related to sale of ‘Prescription only drugs’.


Keywords


Self-Medication, Children, Acute respiratory tract infection, Diarrhoea

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