Prevalence of self-medication and its pattern in medical students: a cross sectional study from Karnataka


  • Shrinivas R. Raikar Department of Pharmacology, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences, Narketpally, Telangana, India
  • Pradeep Javedar Department of Pharmacology, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Anant A. Takalkar Department of Community Medicine, MIMSR Medical College, Latur, Maharashtra, India



Self-medication, Medical students, Knowledge pattern and practices


Background: Self-medication is becoming a common type of self-care behavior among the population of many countries. Obtaining and consuming drugs without the advice of physician either for diagnosis, prescription or surveillance is called self-medication. The objectives of the study were to study prevalence and existing pattern of self-medication and its determinants among the medical students.

Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted involving 200 medical students by systemic random sampling method using pretested semi-structured proforma. Analysis was done using SPSS and results were presented. Chi square and odds ratio (OR) was used as statistical tool.

Results: Out of 200 students, 66.5% students were from 22-24 years of age group (mean age 20.2±1.4 years, p<0.05). Prevalence of self-medication was 93%, of which 53.8% were girls and 46.2% were boys (p>0.05). Majority of the students (95.2%) were self-medicating with allopathy drugs. 51.6% responded that they were getting quick relief with self-medication. 82% were aware about the possible adverse effects (OR 0.5, p>0.05). Self-medication was practiced by 78% students for upper respiratory tract infection, headache (70%), fever (67.7%) and gastrointestinal upset (36%). Majority (83%) students consumed paracetamol tablet for various health related reasons followed by cough syrups (55.3%), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (54.3%), antibiotics (23.1%).

Conclusions: Prevalence of self-medication was high in spite of awareness of possible adverse effects amongst students. Also, the knowledge of selection of appropriate drug for self-medication was observed to be poor.


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How to Cite

Raikar, S. R., Javedar, P., & Takalkar, A. A. (2020). Prevalence of self-medication and its pattern in medical students: a cross sectional study from Karnataka. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 9(3), 384–387.



Original Research Articles