Volume : 4
Online ISSN : 2393-9087
Print ISSN : 2393-9079
Article First Page : 168
Article End Page : 171
Introduction: Improper self-medication of Over the Counter (OTC) drugs and /or drugs from earlier prescription may result in adverse drug reactions and /or serious drug interactions with co-administered alternate system of drugs. Information on self-medication practices, the factors influencing such practices and incidence of ADRs associated with self-medication among the residents of Puducherry is not available.
Aim: To study the prevalence of self-medication among the residents of Puducherry and to determine the factors that influences the pattern of self-medication.
Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional questionnaire based study, was carried out using a pretested validated questionnaire on self-medication practices on a randomly selected population of adult residents of Puducherry.
Results: Among the 380 participants who responded by answering to the questionnaire, 34.5% were males and 65.5% were females. Mean age of the respondents was 36.4±11.7 yrs. approximately 59.5% of the respondents self-medicated with allopathic drugs. The frequency of self-medication by the respondents ranged from once (31.3%) to more than 5 times (11.1%) in the past six months recall period. Statistically significant association was found between occupation and self-medication (p<0.01). The commonest symptoms for which the respondents self-medicated were headache and fever (60.2 and 42.0% respectively). Most common drugs consumed by self-medication were NSAIDs (63.71%) in which paracetamol contributed to 43.36% followed by anti-histaminics (28.31%). Private pharmacy (89.8%) was the major source of drugs for self-medication followed by left over drugs in the home (5.3%). Simpler nature of the disease was the reason given by 66.4% of the self-medicated individuals. A side effect with self-medication was experienced by 11.9% of the respondents. Alternate system of medicine was used by 24.3% respondents with self-medication. Pharmaceutical expiry date was always checked by 87.2% of the respondents.
Conclusion: Self-medication prevalence in the community surveyed is moderately high. Joint efforts by the health careers including community pharmacists to educate the ill effect of self-medication among general public can help in reducing the practice of self-medication and betterment of the society.
Keywords: Prescription drugs, expiry date, adverse drug reactions, alternate system of drugs