Published: 2019-06-24

Perception and practice of self-medication amongst second year medical students in a tertiary care teaching hospital

Amullya C. Pednekar, Padma N. Bhandare, Shantadurga S. Kerkar


Background: Management of medical ailments requires sound knowledge of diseases and drugs. Medical students are more likely to practice self-medication due to easy access to information. Inappropriate and inadequate treatment can lead to morbidity and mortality. Thus, the current study was carried out to understand the perception and practice of self-medication in medical students so that habit of ethical practice can be inculcated in them.

Methods: A self-developed and prevalidated questionnaire was distributed amongst 145 students of second MBBS after approval from Institutional ethics Committee. Data was collected; analysed using MS Excel and the results were expressed as counts and percentages.

Results: In this study authors noted 136 (93.79%) out of the 145 students practised self-medication. The commonest reason being effectiveness of medications for similar conditions in the past 92 (69.17%). 111 (81.61%) students reported fever as the most common indication. Analgesics/anti-pyretics 117 (86.02%) were the most frequently used drug groups. Majority 87 (63.97%) obtained information from friends and relatives. Adverse effects of self-medication were noted in 20 (14.70%).

Conclusions: This study indicates higher prevalence of self-medication in medical students of Goa. Students can be sensitised and made aware about possible adverse effects and drug interactions with self-medication and how simple looking illness may take an ugly turn. Students being future doctors will continue this chain of spread of awareness of self-medication. Easy access to healthcare can also solve these problems.


Awareness, Medical students, Perception, Practice, Questionnaire, Self-medication

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