Background: Many of the studies have investigated the prevalence and nature of selfâmedication. It is a common type of selfâcare behavior among the populace of various countries. World Health Organization promotes the practice of selfâmedication for effective and quick relief of symptoms without medical consultations to reduce the burden on healthâcare 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 selfâmedication among the population (patients) attending pharmacies at study sites and to note the association of selfâmedication 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 selfâmedication 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 selfâmedication was approximately 50% (300/600). Most of the patients were seeking selfâmedication 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 selfâmedication were nonâsteroidal antiâinflammatory drugs (25.3% [152/600]), medications used for gastro intestinal problems (20.8% [125/600]) and antibiotics (16.7% [100/600]). Conclusion: Prevalence of selfâmedication 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 selfâmedication. There is a need for planning interventions to promote rational selfâmedication through mass medias such as newspaper, magazine and TV.
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