Self-medication profile of dental patients in Ondo state, Nigeria
The practice of selfmedication has been extensively researched but there is dearth of information about its modality among dental
patients in developing countries. Hence, this study was designed to determine the proportion of dental patients who practice, medications employed and the reasons for resorting to self medication in general dental populations in Ondo State, Nigeria and tomake appropriate recommendations. This study was conducted between June 2007 and June 2008 at the Federal Medical Centre, Owo and State Specialist Hospital, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Five hundred and thirty six consenting respondents were selected by multistage sampling technique and interviewed with the aid of semi structured questionnaire.
Results: Almost half of the respondents (42% or n=225) admitted to self medication while the majority (58%) did not practice it. Drugs utilized are usually singly (56.4%) rather than in combination
(43.6%), commonly analgesics (50.1%) and antibiotics (30.4%), with themajority (45.8%) using the medications for at least one week. The reasons cited by respondents for self medication were their
perception that they know what to do and it saves time andmoney. A sizable majority of the respondents admitted to self-medication usually with analgesics. Adequate health education of the populace on the use and misuse of analgesics needs to be mounted, while dental services should be made readily available and affordable so that self medication among dental patients can be reduced to the barest minimum.
Keywords: self-medication, profile, dental patients, OndoState, Nigeria