Self‑medication has traditionally been defined as “the taking of drugs, herbs or home remedies on one’s own initiative, or on the advice of another person, without consulting a doctor. In several studies it has been found that inappropriate self‐medication causes wastage of resources, increases resistance of pathogens and generally causes serious health hazards such as adverse drug reactions, prolonged suffering and drug dependence. Medical students have easy access to information from drug indices, literature, and other medical students to self‐diagnose and self‐medicate. The present study was done to know the prevalence and pattern of self medication. This was a cross sectional study conducted in a tertiary care hospital in South India, in March 2015. The information pertaining to the prevalence and pattern of self‐medication, indications for self‐medication, factors for self medication, drugs/drug groups used for self‐medication were included in the questionnaire. The selected respondents were those who have completed pharmacology exam and are in phase III and who had taken self medication in the last one year. More than one answer was allowed in some questions. The data was recorded and analyzed using Microsoft Excel (2007 version). The results are explained in frequency and percentage. 82% of the students had self medicated in last one year. The most common reason for self medication was disease perceived as minor and cost factor. Most common symptom for which self medication taken was cough/cold and vomiting. Most common drugs used for self medication was anti-pyretics, analgesics and anti-hitaminics. The most common sources of information were from doctors, friends and television/advertisements. Self-medication should be considered as a serious problem, especially among young population and educational intervention measures need to be implemented.
SELF MEDICATION AMONG MEDICAL STUDENTS IN SOUTH INDIA