Comparative study of evaluation of self-medication practices in first and third year medical students

Authors:Sontakke SD, Bajait CS, Pimpalkhute SA, Jaiswal KM, Jaiswal SR
Int J Biol Med Res. 2011; 2(2): 561 – 564  |  PDF File

Abstract

Introduction: Main purpose of this study was to compare the pattern of self-medication in first and third year medical students and to evaluate whether medical training results in any change in this pattern. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which a self-developed, prevalidated questionnaire consisting of both open and close-ended items related to various aspects of self-medication was used. Study population consisted of two groups (Group I : 1st year and Group II : 3rd year) of medical students who were required to fill the questionnaire. Comparison between the two groups was done by Chi square test. Results: 77.98% respondents from group I and 74.71% from group II practiced self-medication. Awareness about OTC medicines, dose and ADRs of medicines and generic and branded medicines was statistically significantly higher in group II. Major advantages cited by respondents from both the groups were similar. 5.66 % of respondents from group I and 3.37% from group II felt that self-medication has no advantages. ADRs, lack of knowledge about dose, frequency of administration and chances of taking the wrong medicine were the major drawbacks of self-medication reported. Drugs most commonly used by self-medication were analgesics and anti pyretics. Conclusion: Senior medical students have a better knowledge about certain aspects of self-medication which reflects the influence of medical training. But, even the junior students who are not exposed to the knowledge of drugs and disease are well aware about most of these which may be due to easy availability of information.