A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY TO EVALUATE SELFMEDICATION PRACTICE AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS
Background: Self-medication is unsupervised use of medication commonly practiced for minor or acute presenting symptoms. Inappropriate self-medication can lead to drug resistance, life-threatening adverse effects, drug dependence or aggravation of disease. This practice is becoming common among medical students due to their pharmacological knowledge and clinical posting despite the fact that they are aware of its harmful effects.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of medical students of all academic years from a public sector medical university. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaire after verbal consent. Data was analyzed using SPSS-16.
Results: Sample consisted of 324 students divided in two groups. Group 1 consisted of students of pre-clinical academic years whereas Group 2 consisted of students of clinical years. 79.48% of Group 1 and 81.54% of Group 2 practiced self-medication. Antipyretics and analgesics were the most common self-medicated medicines in Group 1. Group 2 showed greater self-use of antibiotics and anxiolytics compared to pre-clinical year students. The preference of drug selection was different for both groups. Whereas pre-clinical students preferred anti-diarrheal, clinical academic students preferred antibiotics for diarrhea treatment.
Conclusions: Self-medication among medical students in highly prevalent despite awareness of adverse effects.
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