Self-medication practices of over the counter analgesics among first and third semester undergraduate medical students in a tertiary care medical college, Jharkhand

Kusum Kumari, Manju Gari, Mary Sunita Toppo, Ira Anupama Soreng, Priyanki .


Background: Self-medication is a widely practiced trend in the general Indian population. Among the medical students, self- medication is popular because of awareness about the disease and their treatment. Analgesics are one of the most common drugs used for self-medication. Very few studies are available in Jharkhand regarding this subject. So, the present study aims to delve into the pattern of self-medication practices of analgesics among the 1st and 3rd semester medical students of RIMS, Ranchi, Jharkhand.

Methods: A questionnaire based cross sectional study was done in RIMS, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India in March-April 2019 among the undergraduate medical students. The results were expressed as percentage and frequency.

Results: Out of total 150 and 142 students in the 1st and 3rd semester respectively, 140 and 130 students practiced self- medication.  Advice from seniors was the biggest source of information in both the groups followed by internet and books. Paracetamol was the most common drug (75%; 60%) and headache was the most common indication (55%; 68%). Quick relief of symptoms was the most common reason for self-medication in both the groups (44%; 48%).

Conclusions: In both the groups, the students continued the drug even after experiencing side effects (77%; 60%). Most students were of the view that such practice is not acceptable at all times (75%; 72%).


Self-medication practices, Medical students, Analgesics, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Indian population

Full Text:



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(4):196-200.

Banerjee I, Bhaduri T. Self-medication practice among undergraduate medical students in a tertiary care medical college, West Bengal. J Postgrad Med. 2012;58(2):127-31.

Kasulkar AA, Gupta M. Self-medication practices among medical students of a private institute. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2015;77(2):178-82.

Soroush A, Abdi A, Andayeshgar B, Vahdat A, Khatony A. Exploring the perceived factors that affect self-medication among nursing students: a qualitative study. BMC Nurs. 2018;17:35.

Mortazavi SS, Shati M, Khankeh HR, Ahmadi F, Mehravaran S, Malakouti SK. Self-medication among the elderly in Iran: a content analysis study. BMC Geriatr. 2017;17:198.

Yousef AMM, Al-Bakri AG, Bustanji Y, Wazaify M. Self-medication patterns in Amman, Jordan. Pharm World Sci. 2008;30:24.

Jagadeesh K, Chidananda KN, Revankar SP, Prasad NS. Study on self-medication among 2nd year medical students. 2015;4(1):164-7.

Alam N, Saffoon N, Uddin R. Self-medication among medical and pharmacy students in Bangladesh. BMC Res Notes. 2015;8:763.

Shah H, Patel R, Nayak S, Patel HR, Sharma D. A questionnaire-based cross-sectional study on selfmedication practices among undergraduate medical students of GMERS Medical College, Valsad, Gujarat. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2018;7(4):249-54.

Kumari K, Toppo MS, Priyanki. Self-medication practices of over the counter analgesic drugs among medical students in a tertiary care hospital in Jharkhand, India. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2019;8:903-9.

Alzoubi KH, Khabour OF, Farah S. Patterns of self-medication among medical and nonmedical University students in Jordan. Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2018;11:169-76.

Ibrahim NK, Alamoudi BA, Baamer WO, Al-Raddadi RM. Self-medication with analgesics among medical students and interns in King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Pak J Med Sci. 2015;31(1):14-8.

Esan DT, Fasoro AA, Odesanya OE, Esan TO, Ojo EF, Faeji CO. Assessment of self-medication practices and its associated factors among undergraduates of a private university in Nigeria. J Environ Public Health. 2018:5439079.

Karami NA, Altebainawi AF, Alfarki SA, Aldossari NB, Asiri AN, Aldahan MS, et al. Knowledge and attitude of analgesics use among Saudi population: A cross-sectional study. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2018;7(2):137-43.

Al Saleh FM, Al Dawood KM, Omer AH. Analgesics misuse: a problem among Saudi female students. Int J Med Health Sci. 2018;7(4):151-6.

Borazan HN, Furst ED. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Disease- modifying antirheumatic drugs, non-opioid analgesics, and drugs used in gout. Basic Clin Pharmacol. 13th ed. New Delhi, India: McGraw Hill Education Private Limited; 620.

Helal RM, Elwafa HAS. Self-medication in university students from the city of Mansoura, Egypt. J Environ Public Health. 2017:9145193.

Kumari K, Toppo MS, Kumar M. The practice of self-medication in diarrhoea among second year medical students in a tertiary care hospital in Jharkhand. IJPSR. 2018;9(11):1000-5.