ABSTRACT: Self-medication is a widely prevalent practice in India. It assumes a special significance among medical students as they are the future medical practitioners.
To assess the pattern of self-medication practice among undergraduate medical students.
Tertiary care medical college in West Bengal, India.
A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among the undergraduate medical students.
Out of 500 students of the institute, 482 consented for the study and filled in the supplied questionnaire. Fourteen incomplete questionnaires were excluded and the remaining 468 analyzed. It was found that 267 (57.05%) respondents practiced self-medication. The principal morbidities for seeking self-medication included cough and common cold as reported by 94 students (35.21%) followed by diarrhea (68 students) (25.47%), fever (42 students) (15.73%), headache (40 students) (14.98%) and pain abdomen due to heartburn/ peptic ulcer (23 students) (8.61%). Drugs/ drug groups commonly used for self-medication included antibiotics (31.09%) followed by analgesics (23.21%), antipyretics (17.98%), antiulcer agents (8.99%), cough suppressant (7.87%), multivitamins (6.37%) and antihelminthics (4.49%). Among reasons for seeking self-medication, 126 students (47.19%) felt that their illness was mild while 76 (28.46%) preferred as it is time-saving. About 42 students (15.73%) cited cost-effectiveness as the primary reason while 23 (8.62%) preferred because of urgency.
Our study shows that self-medication is widely practiced among students of the institute. In this situation, faculties should create awareness and educate their students regarding advantages and disadvantages of self-medication.
Journal of Postgraduate Medicine 04/2012; 58(2):127-31. · 1.26 Impact Factor