Practice of self-medication among medical students in a region of northern state of India
Keywords:Awareness, Attitude, Medical students, Self-medication
Background: Self-medication usually leads to irrational drug utilization pattern leading to various issues like economic burden, incomplete treatment and antibiotic resistance. Self-medication is a common practice in developing countries and prevalent among medical students, influencing their future decision making as medical professional. The current study was carried out to determine the prevalence of self-medication among medical students and their attitude towards the same.
Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire based study was conducted in a tertiary care teaching hospital from July 2015 to Oct 2015. Structured and validated questions were used to collect information about knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among undergraduate medical students. The study included total of 328 participants. Data were collected from each participant and analyzed statistically by using SPSS version 20 for count and percentages.
Results: A total of 328 subjects studying at a medical school were assessed regarding their practice, attitude and perception of self-medication behavior. Out of total recruited subjects, 53% were males and 47% were females. The prevalence of self-medication among recruited subjects was 89.9%. Symptoms like fever, Headache and weakness were the most common reasons of self-medication. The most commonly used drugs were antipyretic, analgesics (81.7%), antibiotics (51.2%). Approximately 15% subjects were not aware about the completion of the course of antibiotic treatment. Subjects obtained information and procured drugs from their family members, friends and pharmacist and the reasons for this were cited as lack of time, minor ailments and quick relief. Only 32.6% students opined that self-medication should be encouraged in future.
Conclusions: Current study reveals that practice of self-medication is highly prevalent among medical students without adequate knowledge of drugs used. Students should be educated regarding advantages and disadvantages of self-medication.
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