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Richa Garg*, Taruna Sharma and D C Dhasmana


AIM: To assess the pattern of self medication practices among undergraduate medical & paramedical students. MATERIAL & METHODS: A cross-sectional questionnaire based study was conducted in the Tertiary care hospital and College, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. The time period was one month and all medical and paramedical students who were enrolled in the department of Pharmacology were enrolled in the study. After explaining the purpose of the study, voluntary consent was taken from the subjects before the start of the study.Self designed Questionnaire forms were duly filled by the respondents. BACKGROUND: Self medication is a widely prevalent practice in India, with Medical students being the ones mostly seen involved in such activity as they are future medical practitioners. In a number of developing countries many drugs are dispensed over the counter without medical supervision. The objective of this study was to assess the self medication practice in common type of illnesses, and identify frequently used drugs and determinants of self medication. RESULT: Out of the total 180 students, 176 respondents (98%) were aged between 19 to 21 years. The majority of the respondents stayed within 1km of a health care facility. 147 (82%) of these respondents had taken some form of self medication. The common reasons given for self medication were mild illness 134 (74%).The medical shop owner was also common source of medicines 73(41%). Among the ones who took antimicrobials 71(39%) did not complete the course. 31(17%) experienced side effects of the drugs taken. The respondents also suggested medication to others like friend 101(56%), relative 17(9%) and known 29(16%). CONCLUSION: Self-medication was practiced with a range of drugs from the conventional analgesics to antibiotics. Although the practice of self-medication is inevitable; drug authorities and health professionals need to educate students the pros and cons of self-medication.

Keywords: self-medication. medical students

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