Introduction: inappropriate self-medication results in wastage of resources, resistance to pathogen and generally entails serious health hazard. This study was undertaken to determine the knowledge, practice and reasons for practice of self-medication among health workers in a Nigerian tertiary institution. Methods: this was a cross-sectional descriptive study conducted among staff of Federal Medical Center Ido-Ekiti, Nigeria. Simple random sampling technique was used to select 305 respondents that were interviewed via a pretested semi-structured questionnaire. Analysis was done using SPSS version 15 and while chi-square test was used to test significance between variables, significant (p value set<0.05). Results: among the 305 respondents interviewed, the age range was 18-52yrs with greater proportion being males (51.8%). Majority of respondents were aware of self-medication (94.8%), but only 47.2% had good knowledge of it. Reasons for practicing self-medication were financial problem (10.8%), mild sickness (10.8%), lack of time (13.4%), knowledge of diagnosis (5.6%), convenience (2.3%) and non-availability of doctors (3.0%). The drugs used by respondents without prescription included analgesics (38.2%), antibiotics (19.0%) anti-malaria drugs (13.3%), and others (29.4%). Conditions for which respondents self-medicated were body pains (14.9%), catarrh (14.9%), headache (14.3%), sore throat (11.5%), diarrhea (11.2%), fever (9.0%) and toothache (5.6%). Conclusion: the study demonstrates that the prevalence of self-medication is relatively high. There is need for health education on the implication and danger of self-medication. There is also need for government to pass and enforce law to restrict free access to drugs.
The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24