Ritesh Kumar1, Aman Goyal1, Biswa Mohan Padhy2, Yogendra Kumar Gupta1
1Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
2Department of Pharmacology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India.
Aim: Self-medication is widely practiced with varying dimensions in India. This practice has many implications, especially among medical and paramedical students having some knowledge and good exposure to drugs. We conducted a two-period observational study to evaluate the change in knowledge and practice of self-medication, over 5 years of time period, among medical and paramedical students from different parts of India. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire was administered to medical (MBBS), dental (BDS), and paramedical students, who come to attend pan India annual cultural, literary, and sports event at New Delhi. The study was conducted in two phases (2007 and 2012) in different respondents of same categories (medical and paramedical) of students. Three-hundred and thirty students from 39 colleges in 2007 and 356 students from 38 colleges in 2012 participated in the study. Results: The prevalence of self-medication remained high in both 2007 and 2012 (74.6% and 69.4%), although no significant difference was observed between the two phases (P = 0.14%). Oral antibacterial agents, oral anti-inflammatory agents, and antipyretics were the most common group of drugs used in both phases of study. A significant increase was observed in number of students who took complete course of oral antibiotics (28.3-38.3%, P = 0.01). Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication among undergraduate students remains unaltered over the span of 5 years. Nevertheless, there was a better sensitization toward appropriate antibiotic usage and the practice of responsible self-medication needs to be promoted among future healthcare providers.
Keywords: Antibiotic use, cross-sectional study, medical students, paramedical students, self-care, self-medication.