Analysis of Self-medication practices and patterns among the healthcare professionals in a tertiary care hospital

Rajavel . Murugan, T . Padmavathi, Hansi B H


Background & Objectives: Over recent days self medication has become much prevalent among general population as well as medical fraternity and can cause serious implications such as financial cost, wastage of resources, drug resistance and adverse effects. More than 50% of general population have been found to implicate practice of self medication. Due to the nature of their work, the health care workers have a good idea about drug dosages and frequently indulge in self medication.
Materials and Methods: This observational, questionnaire based study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital after obtaining approval from IEC. Questionnaire comprising of 20 questions pertaining to selfmedication
such as drugs administered, the reasons for self-medications, the diseases and adverse reactions was distributed to the staff nurses, nursing assistants, lab technicians and theatre assistants. Out of 170 healthcare professionals 150 responded 
Results: Of the 90 participants who had illness 73 participants (81.1%) self-medicated. The main reasons for self-medication were availability of the old prescription (32.9%), triviality of illnesses (19.2%), familiarity with the drugs (19.2%) and long distance to reach the doctor (15.1%). The drugs used were
analgesics and antipyretics (NSAIDS) (78.6%), anti-ulcer drugs (20%), anti-histamines (11.4%) and antibiotics (10%).The symptoms were headache (61.4%), fever (17.1%), acidity (17.1%), cough and cold (14.3%), body pain (12.9%) and GIT (5.7%). 
Interpretation & Conclusion: Self medication practice among health care workers was proved to be high since they are closely related to doctors and drugs. The high prevalence has to be reduced since it could lead to drug resistance and unwanted side effects.

Keywords: Self Medication, Health care workers, OTC.

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