DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20150010

Evaluation of analgesic self-medication pattern among under-graduate medical students of Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, BG Nagar, Karnataka: a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study

Shwetha Shivamurthy, Ravishankar Manchukonda, Deepika Gurappanavar

Abstract


Background: Self-medication with analgesics is widely practiced among medical students. Self-medication is defined as “the selection and use of medicines by individuals to treat self-recognized illnesses or symptoms.” It assumes a special significance among the undergraduate medical students as they are aware of the available analgesic medications. Our study would evaluate the pattern of analgesic self-medication among undergraduate medical students of Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), BG Nagar.

Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was done from January to March 2014 among undergraduate medical students, AIMS, BG Nagar. 218 students consented for the study out of 250 students and filled in the questionnaire. 20 incomplete questionnaires were excluded and the remaining 198 were analyzed.

Results: Our study showed that 63.6% of the students practiced analgesic self-medication. 68.2% sought self-medication for headache followed by body pain (9.7%), low backache (5.1%), fever (4.5%) and joint pain (3.8%). Paracetamol was used by 47.2%, diclofenac by 20.5%, ibuprofen by 7.5%, aspirin by 6.8%, and aceclofenac by 4.1%. Self-medication was based on the use of previous prescriptions in 42.1% of the students and textbook knowledge in 39.1% of the students. 26.4% students complained that pain reduced concentration in studies. 61.6% students stated the mild nature of illness as the reason for self-medication. 91.9% of the students felt that self-medication is a part of self-care. 61.2% of the students were aware of the side-effects of the analgesic medications.

Conclusion: Our study shows that self-medication with analgesics is high among the undergraduate medical students of this institute. Although it is an easy way to treat mild to moderate pain, it may be accompanied with side effects, drug interactions, and toxicities. Hence, we conclude that there is a need to create awareness, and educate the students regarding the possible harmful effects of self-medication with analgesics.


Keywords


Self-medication, Analgesics, Undergraduate medical students, Side effects, Drug interactions, Toxicities

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