A Study of the Prevalence of Self-Medication Practice among University Students in Southwestern Nigeria
Purpose: To estimate the prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics and antimalarials among university students in southwestern Nigeria and evaluate the factors associated with self-medication.
Methods: A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data from 2000 university students using a convenient sampling technique. Prevalence of the practice of self-medication was estimated in percentages while factors associated with self-medication were evaluated using multiple regression
Results: The prevalence of the practice of self-medication was high among the age group of 25 – 44 years but lower in the 15 - 24 and ≥ 45 year age groups, respectively. Females exhibited higher prevalence of self-medication than males. Among undergraduates, self-medication increased as the students’ class level in the university increased. Postgraduate students exhibited low prevalence of selfmedication practices. Self-medication was significantly associated with age, gender and students’ class level in the university at p` < 0.001. A majority, 982 (53.8 %), of the students used antibiotics for selfmedication while 845 (46.3 %) used anti-malarial drugs for self-medication. Sources of drugs for selfmedication were patent medicines store (901 or 49.3 %), community pharmacies (531 or 29.1 %), friends (210 or 11.5 %), relatives (130 or 7.1 %) and left-over drugs from previous prescriptions (55 or 3.0 %).
Conclusion: The study revealed that age, gender and students’ level in the university influenced selfmedication practices. The use of antibiotics in self-medication calls for urgent health policy intervention.
Keywords: Self-medication, Antimalarial, Antibiotics, University students, Nigeria.