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Evaluation of Self Medication Practices in Rural Area of Town Sahaswan at Northern India

Author(s): Ahmad A*, Patel I, Mohanta GP and Balkrishnan R

Background: Many of the studies have investigated the prevalence and nature of self‑medication. It is a common type of self‑care behavior among the populace of various countries. World Health Organization promotes the practice of self‑medication for effective and quick relief of symptoms without medical consultations to reduce the burden on health‑care services, which are often understaffed and inaccessible in rural and remote areas. Aim: The aim of the study was to determine the extent and pattern of self‑medication among the population (patients) attending pharmacies at study sites and to note the association of self‑medication variables with demographic factors. Subjects and Methods: The present study was a community based cross sectional study aimed to gather information about the prevalence of self‑medication in the rural town of Sahaswan, Uttar Pradesh from June 2012 to July 2012. The sample size comprised of 600 respondents. Data were collected through a prepared questionnaire. All descriptive data were coded, entered and analyzed using the statistical package for Social sciences program version 17.0 (Chicago, IL, USA). Descriptive data analysis was conducted and reported as frequencies and percentage. Results: The percentage of patients who were seeking self‑medication was approximately 50% (300/600). Most of the patients were seeking self‑medication for headache and other pain (23.3% [140/600]), fever (14.5% [87/600]), urinary tract infections (9.7% [58/600]) and respiratory tract infections (11.7% [70/600]). The drugs most commonly purchased for practicing self‑medication were non‑steroidal anti‑inflammatory drugs (25.3% [152/600]), medications used for gastro intestinal problems (20.8% [125/600]) and antibiotics (16.7% [100/600]). Conclusion: Prevalence of self‑medication was high primarily among illiterate males aged above 15 years with a low income. Patient health awareness programs, assistance by community pharmacists and pharmacist continuing education are necessary for controlling self‑medication. There is a need for planning interventions to promote rational self‑medication through mass medias such as newspaper, magazine and TV.


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