A descriptive study of prevalence, pattern and attitude of self-medication among second professional medical students in a tertiary care center

Vineeta Sawhney, Mohammad Younis Bhat, Zorawar Singh


Background: The implications of self-medication practices are increasingly recognized around the world as self-medication is a common practice worldwide and irrational use of drugs is a cause of concern more so among medical students as they are future medical practitioners. The objective was to determine the prevalence, attitude, and knowledge of self-medication among second professional medical students.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among medical students in February-March 2015. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaire and expressed as percentage frequency.

Results: Of the 138 students, only 122 filled and returned the questionnaire. The majority of the students self-medicated because of the illness being too trivial for consultation (63.1%) or had previous experience of same illness (63.1%), headache (77.8%), flu/cold and sore throat (58.1%), closely followed by fever (52.4%) were the main symptoms leading to self-medication. Commonly used medicines were analgesics (74.6%), headache relievers (71.3%), antibiotics (64%), and antipyretics (50.8%). A large proportion (42.6%) and 35% used every few months or 2-3 times per year, respectively.

Conclusion: Our study showed that self-medication is widely practiced among students, easy availability of medicine probably being the cause. Educating the students regarding advantages and disadvantages of self-medication is necessary to create awareness.


Self-medication, Medical students, Questionnaire, Prevalence, Pattern, Education

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