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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Assessment of habit of self-medication among non-teaching staff of private dental institute


1 Intern, VSPM Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, VSPM Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Prosthodontics, VSPM Dental College and Research Centre, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Prosthodontics, VSPM Dental College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Akanksha Mukwane
Staff Quarters, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Khamgao Road, Shegao - 444 203, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijmd.ijmd_14_19

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  Abstract 


Background: Self-medication refers to the use of medicines without prescription to treat self-identified illness. It is a worldwide prevalent practice. It is a common scenario that personnel engaged in health-care setup are closely related to the medicines which physicians prescribe, as a result of which they practice self-medication as well as prescribe medication to others also. The present study is aimed at assessment of habit of self-medication among nonteaching staff of VSPM Dental College.
Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the habit of self-medication among nonteaching staff of VSPM Dental College and Research Centre (DC and RC), Nagpur.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 65 nonteaching staff of VSPM DC and RC, Nagpur. The informed consent was obtained from the participants. A prevalidated questionnaire was distributed among them, and data were collected by interview survey method.
Results: Self-medication was highly prevalent among the participants of the present study. 53.48% of participants often self-medicate and 74% of them advised medications to others also. Majority of them (54.28%) were taking self-medication, as it was a time-saving option for them; 27.14% among them said that there is no need to visit a physician in case of minor illness. 69.80% of them visit a doctor only in case of serious illness, and very few, i.e., 12.30% were going for regular checkup.
Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication practices was alarmingly high in the present study. The holistic approach must be taken to prevent this problem from rising which would involve awareness and education regarding the implications of self-medication.

Keywords: Habit; health-care setup; nonteaching staff; private dental institute; self-medication


How to cite this article:
Mukwane A, Moharil R, Kahar AR, Joshi J. Assessment of habit of self-medication among non-teaching staff of private dental institute. Indian J Multidiscip Dent 2019;9:23-6

How to cite this URL:
Mukwane A, Moharil R, Kahar AR, Joshi J. Assessment of habit of self-medication among non-teaching staff of private dental institute. Indian J Multidiscip Dent [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Dec 12];9:23-6. Available from: http://www.ijmdent.com/text.asp?2019/9/1/23/268984




  Introduction Top


Self-medication is defined as the use of drugs to treat self-diagnosed disorders or symptoms or the intermittent or continued use of a prescribed drug for chronic or recurrent disease or symptoms.[1] Self-care is what people do for them to establish and maintain health, prevent, and deal with illness.[2] Increase in self-medication was due to numerous factors, such as socioeconomic status, lifestyle modifications, easy access to drugs, the increased ability to manage certain illnesses through self-care, and greater availability of medicines.[3] Such medicines are usually used for the prevention or treatment of minor illness that do not justify medical consultation. In some chronic or recurring illnesses, after initial diagnosis and prescription, self-medication is possible with the doctor retaining an advisory role.[4],[5] The main reasons for self-medication include health problem being not serious, the illness is minor, to get quick relief of the condition, and to avoid long waiting at clinics.[6],[7]

Inappropriate self-medication results in the irrational use of drugs, wastage of resources, increased risk of adverse reactions, and prolonged suffering.[8] Irrational usage of antibiotics led to the emergence of resistant pathogens worldwide.[9] Furthermore, the risk associated with self-medications also includes a potential of delay in treating a serious medical condition due to masking of symptoms of the serious condition through the use of nonprescription products and interaction with other regularly used medication.[10]

This practice of self-medication is very common among the personnel associated with health-care setup.[11] Keeping this in view, this questionnaire-based study was planned to assess the habit of self-medication among nonteaching staff of VSPM Dental College and Research Centre (DC and RC), Nagpur.


  Materials and Methods Top


The analysis protocol was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee of our college. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 65 nonteaching staff of VSPM Dental College, out of which 39 were female and 26 were male. They were informed about the study, and the consent was obtained from the participants. A prevalidated questionnaire was distributed among them, and data were collected by interview survey method. Data were analyzed by percentage statistics and results were drawn.


  Results Top


Self-medication was highly prevalent; out of 65 participants, 38 (53.48%) participants often self-medicate, whereas 23 (32.39%) were taking occasionally [Figure 1]. Almost 54 (74%) participants advised medications to others also. The source of information of the drugs used for self-medication was pharmacist (31, 41.09%), and some of them (27, 35.6%) used the previous prescription also [Figure 2]. Majority of them (38, 54.28%) were taking self-medication, as it was a time-saving option for them; 19 (27.14%) participants among them said that there is no need to visit a physician in case of minor illness [Figure 3]. Cough, cold, and sore throat (33, 47.01%), fever (18, 24.28%), and headache (16, 22.80%) were the frequent symptoms provoking self-medication among them. Drugs that were used by them in self-medication were analgesics (44, 62.7%), antibiotics (16, 22.80%), and antiallergic drugs (10, 14.2%) [Figure 4]. Maximum of them (51, 69.80%) visit a doctor only in case of serious illness, some of them (11, 17.87%) visited a doctor in case of nonavailability of drugs if a pharmacist denied selling without prescription, and very few (8, 12.30%) were going for regular checkup. Twenty-nine (39.78%) participants avoid taking self-medication only in case of major illness, 28 (39.72%) avoid it if medication is not available in medical stores without prescription, and 15 (20.50%) feel if they may misdiagnose.
Figure 1: Frequency of taking self-medication

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Figure 2: Sources of information of drugs used in self-medication

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Figure 3: Reasons in favor of self-medication

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Figure 4: Drugs used by them as self-medication

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  Discussion Top


Self-medication is the habitual practice whereby individuals treat their ailments and conditions with medicines which are available without prescription and which are safe and effective when used as directed. However, it will lead to unintended effect if inappropriately used.[10] Studies suggested that increase in self-medication was because of numerous factors which comprise socioeconomic status, lifestyle modifications, easy access to drugs, and the increased ability to deal with certain illnesses through self-care and greater availability of medicinal products in pharmaceuticals.[3]

The present study was conducted among 65 nonteaching staff of VSPM Dental College, Nagpur, out of which 39 were female and 26 were male. In this study, self-medication was highly prevalent; out of 65 participants, 38 (53.48%) often took self-medication, whereas 23 (32.39%) were taking occasionally [Figure 1]. Further higher results were found in another similar study conducted among 200 students of K. S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, by Badiger et al.[1] who showed that 184 (92%) students self-medicate. The most important cause for perceiving self-medication might be the easy availability of medicines that too without prescription. In the study conducted by Hailemichael at Ethiopia,[12] the issue of long-waiting queues at clinics or hospitals was also raised by the participants as one of the reasons in favor of taking self-care to meet up with their tight schedule.

Regarding the source of information about self-medication, the study done in Pakistan[13] showed that out of 300 students, 46 (15.3%) respondents used leftover medicines, whereas others (38, 12.7%) take self-medication due to easy availability at pharmacies. In the present study, the source of information of the drugs used for self-medication was pharmacist in case of 31 (41.09%) respondents, whereas others (26, 35.6%) used the previous prescription [Figure 2].

Affordability (35.70%) was a major reason reported in a study conducted in Jimma town by Solomon Worku,[14] and in a study from Tamil Nadu, most of the students (184, 92%) practiced self-medication as it was time saving.[1] The present study reflects similar findings; majority of them (38 out of 65, 54.28%) were taking self-medication, as it was a time-saving option for them, and also, 19 (27.14%) said that there is no need to visit a physician in case of minor illness [Figure 3].

The most common types of health problem faced for which the respondents reported were cough, cold, and sore throat (33, 47.01%), which show lower value compared to the study done in Mekelle University (51.56%).[15]

Drugs that were frequently used by them in self-medication were analgesics (44, 62.7%), followed by antibiotics (16, 22.80%) and antiallergic drugs (10, 14.2%) [Figure 4]. In another study done at Ethiopia,[12] alarmingly high 111 out of 237 (47%) respondents obtained antibiotics for self-medication without a prescription despite the fact that they were aware of the risk of development of bacterial resistance in 131 (55.3%) students. This is comparable to the results reported in Nepal.[4] A serious problem related to this is that of antibiotic resistance increasing over a period of time with such arbitrary use.[16] The present study only touches upon and briefly explores the issue of the relation between self-medication and antibiotic resistance and it could be a useful subject for future studies.

Maximum of them visit a doctor only in case of serious illness (69.80%), some of them visited a doctor in case of nonavailability of drugs if a pharmacist denied selling without prescription, and very few were going for regular checkup (12.30%) [Figure 5].
Figure 5: Conditions when they visit a qualified medical practitioner

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In summary, our findings suggest that the prevalence of self-medication practices is disturbingly high. Easy access to medicinal products in pharmaceuticals, habits of medicines storage at home, and poor adherence to physicians' advice were the common reasons found favoring self-medication. Furthermore, various other effects regarding self-medication would be further stressed upon and can be the part of continuation of the same study on the larger scale.

Limitation and future directions

The questionnaire was self-reported; therefore, answers given by the participants could also be biased. The comparison per gender of the participants could not be ready to calculate due to the unequal quantitative ratio between them. The survey may be extended to evaluate various other effects regarding self-medication and can be the part of continuation of the same study on the larger scale.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to give their sincere thanks to the Dean of VSPM DC and RC, Nagpur, for permitting to conduct the study in our institute and all the participants of the institute for participating in the survey.


  Conclusion Top


The prevalence of self-medication practices is frighteningly high in our study. The present study has also opened gateways for further research on this subject; in addition, it is also reflecting that it is a real problem and should not be ignored. We recommend that a holistic approach must be taken to avoid this problem from rising which would involve awareness and education regarding the implications of self-medication, strategies to avoid the supply of medicines without prescription by pharmacies, strict rules concerning pharmaceutical advertising, and strategies to make receiving health care easily.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Badiger S, Kundapur R, Jain A, Kumar A, Pattanshetty S, Thakolkaran N, et al. Self-medication patterns among medical students in South India. Australas Med J 2012;5:217-20.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Venkataraman G, Gangadharappa SK, Jacob J, Bhaskar N, Kulkarni SB, Gupta A. Assessment of self-medication practice among students of a dental college of Bangalore city: A cross-sectional study. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2017;15:73.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.
Bennadi D. Self-medication: A current challenge. J Basic Clin Pharm 2013;5:19-23.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shankar PR, Partha P, Shenoy N. Self-medication and non-doctor prescription practices in Pokhara Valley, Western Nepal: A questionnaire-based study. BMC Fam Pract 2002;3:17.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Abasaeed A, Vlcek J, Abuelkhair M, Kubena A. Self-medication with antibiotics by the community of Abu Dhabi Emirate, United Arab Emirates. J Infect Dev Ctries 2009;3:491-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.
Olayemi OJ, Olayinka BO, Musa AI. Evaluation of antibiotic self-medication pattern amongst undergraduate students of Ahmadu Bello University (Main Campus) Zaria. Res J Appl Sci Eng Technol 2010;2:35-8.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Sontakke SD, Bajait CS, Pimpalkhute SA, Jaiswal KM, Jaiswal SR. Comparative study of evaluation of self-medication practices in first and third year medical students. Int J Biol Med Res 2011;2:561-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Kiyingi KS, Lauwo JA. Drugs in the home: Danger and waste. World Health Forum 1993;14:381-4.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Ilhan MN, Durukan E, Ilhan SO, Aksakal FN, Ozkan S, Bumin MA, et al. Self-medication with antibiotics: Questionnaire survey among primary care center attendants. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf 2009;18:1150-7.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Angamo MT, Wabe NT. Knowledge, attitude and practice of self medication in Southwest Ethiopia. Int J Pharm Sci Res 2012;3:1005.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Barros AR, Griep RH, Rotenberg L. Self-medication among nursing workers from public hospitals. Rev Lat Am Enfermagem 2009;17:1015-22.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Hailemichael W, Sisay M, Mengistu G. Assessment of knowledge, attitude, and practice of self-medication among Harar health sciences college students, Harar, Eastern Ethiopia. J Drug Deliv Ther 2016;6:31-6.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Mushtaq M, Gul S, Naz F. The practice of self-medication among Pakistani University students. Pak J Pharm Sci 2017;30:1377-81.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Worku S. Practice of self-medication in Jimma Town. Ethiop J Health Dev 2003;17:111-6.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Gutema GB, Gadisa DA, Kidanemariam ZA, Berhe DF, Berhe AH, Hadera MG, et al. Self-medication practices among health sciences students: The case of Mekelle University. J Appl Pharm Sci 2011;1:183.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Bauchner H, Wise PH. Antibiotics without prescription: “bacterial or medical resistance”? Lancet 2000;355:1480.  Back to cited text no. 16
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]



 

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