Prevalence of Self-medication among MBBS students of a Medical College in Kathmandu
Introduction: Self-medication refers to self-prescription which includes diagnosing and treating one’s own illness and prescribing for one’s self. Though appropriate self-medication relieves acute symptoms, is time saving and economical, it should not be advocated because of more risks than benefits. Self-medication practices were found to vary in medical students of Nepal and India. This study was aimed to determine the prevalence of self-medication among medical students.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 76 MBBS students. The study involved the administration of the research questionnaire including demographic information, practice of self-medication, type of illness, factors influencing self-medication, commonly self- prescribed drugs, sources and strategies to reduce such practices. The data were analyzed using Graph pad prism version 6.
Results: The prevalence of self-medication was 58 (76.6%), more common among first year students. The common illness found was headache and common drug self-prescribed was analgesic-antipyretic. The most common source of obtaining medicines for all three year medical students was pharmacy. Students were also prescribing medicines to family members, friends and juniors. More than half of the students 52 (68.4%) reported that self-medication practices should be encouraged.
Conclusions: Self-medication had been widely practiced among medical students. Self-medication can relieve medical problems but also involve the risks of adverse drug reactions, resistance and masking of underlying diseases. Medical students should be given enough exposure for better understanding of rational prescribing to minimize self-medication. The further study on practice of self-medication is needed on various health professionals and even in general community.
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