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Abstract

PERCEPTIONS AND PATTERNS OF SELF MEDICATION AMONG MEDICAL UNDERGRADUATES IN SOUTH INDIA

Dr. Nandini.T1, Dr. Rathai Rajagopalan2, Dr. Ravi D. Mala3

1Department of Pharmacology, Sri Siddhartha Medical College and Research Centre, Tumkur, 572 107, India
2Department of Pharmacology, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, MSR Nagar, MSRIT Post, Bangalore, 560054, India
3Department of Pharmacology, Mediciti institute of medical sciences, Ghanpur village, Medchal Mandal, R.R district, Andhra Pradesh, 501401, India

ABSTRACT

Self medication is common in developing countries because of easy availability of over the counter drugs. Medical students differ from the general population as they are the future prescribers and have more knowledge about diseases and drugs. There are very few studies on self medication among medical students in this region. This was a crosssectional, questionnaire based study conducted at two medical colleges in South India in May 2013. Prior approval was taken from the Institutional Ethics Committee to conduct the study. Verbal consent was obtained from the students. Participants were explained the purpose of study and were requested to complete and return the questionnaire immediately. The selected students were those who have completed fifth term (finished pharmacology exam) and who taken self medication in the past six months. The questionnaire was pre-tested in junior faculty and was suitably modified before administering to the respondents. The questionnaire included were basic demographic details, indications for self medication, type drug/drug group used, sources of drug information used, reasons for favoring self medication The information was recorded and analyzed using Microsoft Excel (2007 version). A total of 205 students were enrolled for the study, out of which 195 (95.12%) completed the questionnaire. 177 (90.2%) students had self medicated in the last six months. Self medication was higher in females when compare to male students. Cold/cough (57.6%), fever (53.6%) and sore throat (47.4%) were the most common symptoms for which self medication was taken. Paracetamol (59.3%), anti-tussives (54.2%), antibiotic (49.1%), analgesics (46.3%) were the most common drug/drug groups used for self medication. The most common reasons for self medication were students didn't want to spend money on doctor’s fees(50.8%), time saving(43.5%), sufficient pharmacological knowledge (38.4%) and the illness was considered as mild to consult a physician(37.2%). The most common sources of drug information were from the pharmacist (54.2%), from prior prescription (38.9%) and textbooks (31%). The prevalence of self medication was high in the present study. Patterns of self medication were inappropriate with inadequate knowledge. Appropriate educational measures should be taken to educate medical students and made aware about the implications of self medication.

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