Determinants of Increasing Trend of Self-Medication in a Pakistani Community
Purpose: To determine the major reasons, sources, diseases and drugs responsible for increasing trend of self-medication.
Method: A community-based cross-sectional survey was carried out in the district of Faisalabad in Pakistan. Respondents (1488) were classified on the basis of age, sex, education, lifestyle and their economical level. A questionnaire was distributed among the sample population to collect data.
Results: Majority of respondents involved in self-medication were aged between 15 and 20 years. Family members (N = 717, 48 %) were considered the major source of information for self-medicated drugs. Lack of time (N = 504, 37 %) while economic issues (N = 485, 33 %) were the major reasons for self-medication. Medical stores were the source of drug purchase by 1087 (73 %) respondents. Headache (N = 772, 52 %) and fever (N = 600, 40 %) were the main indications for self-medication while 694 respondents reported that they engage in single-dose self-medication. Paracetamol (N = 689, 46 %), other analgesics (N = 488, 33 %), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (N = 680, 46 %) were reported to be used frequently for self-medication.
Conclusion: Self-medication is prevalent in the Pakistani community due to easy access to over the counter (OTC) and prescription-only medicines (POM). This may lead to untoward effects in consumers of the products. Special interventions by relevant regulatory agencies regarding the sale of the drugs are therefore required.
Keywords: Self-medication, OTC drugs, Pharmacist.
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