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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 189-193

Prevalence and pattern of self-medication among medical students in a Nigerian University


Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Ituku/Ozalla Campus, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C A Idoko
Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4314/jcm.v23i1.4

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Background: Self-medication could be harmful to health even though it has some proven advantages. Medical students are future doctors whose disposition to pharmacotherapy may direct approach to prescription in the future. Objective: To determine factors prevalence and pattern of self-medication among medical students in a Nigerian university. Methods: It was a cross-sectional study of 335 medical students of the University of Nigeria Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria. The students were selected following a stratified probability sampling technique with the various class levels serving as strata. Thereafter, the individual participants were randomly selected from the strata to achieve the required sample size. Results: The prevalence of self -medication was 85.7%. The two commonest reasons for self-medication among the students who practiced it were: ‘prior knowledge about the illness and its treatment’ (67.9%) and ‘illness was mild’ (55.8%). Other reasons included previous successful self-medication (35.9%); too many protocol at the hospital (31.0%); to save time (27.5%); to save money (20.2%); the situation was one of urgency (13.6%); and impoliteness of health care practitioners (3.8%). The common sources of the medications were patent medicine stores (774%), and community pharmacists (21.3%). Conclusions: There is high prevalence of self-medication among medical students in Enugu, Nigeria, and their medications are commonly sourced from patent medical stores. There is thus need for sensitization of medical students on the advantages and disadvantages of self-medication in order to ensure safe and responsible drug use. Policies to control drug dispensation by patent medicine stores are urgently needed in view of the enormous adverse effects of self-medications.


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