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Sarah Khan, Dr Fakhra Nain Qureshi, Dr Shahid Khan


Background: Medications are an essential asset to health and important therapeutic tool in the hands of physicians and other health professionals. The utilization of medication by individuals to treat self- recognized symptoms themselves is termed as self-medication. Medical students usually choose to treat their friends, relatives and family members without consultation of registered medical practitioner and when they seek health care for themselves. Although antibiotics are very useful for the purpose of eradicating pathogens but unfortunately inappropriate use of these drugs may lead to develop resistance against antibiotics and self- medication with antibiotics (SMA), may lead to severe implications among healthcare professionals including legal & ethical issues, negative impacts on patients and poor quality of health care delivery towards ailing humanity. Objectives: This study was aimed on determining the prevalence of self-medication with special reference to the use of antibiotics among the undergraduate students of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad and to know the characteristics i.e. the clinical conditions treated & type of antibiotics used for the purpose of self-treating the self-diagnosed problems. Study Design: Cross-sectional studySetting & Period of study: Conducted the study in Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad during academic session 2017-18. Methodology: The present study was conducted on self-medication among randomly selected 210 students of 3rd year & 4th year M.B.B.S classes of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad, Pakistan. A pre-designed questionnaire was used to collect the relevant information pertaining to the study variables. Results: Response rate was 90.47% (n=190). Of those, (73.68%) were females & (26.32%) males. All participants were in the age range between 20-25 years. 147 (77.36%) participants were boarders and 43 (22.64%) non boarders. The most common symptom for self-medication was cough with sputum in 62 (32.63%). Among the participants 65.5% had self- medicated in the last six months. Most used antibiotics were Metronidazole (29.23 %), Azithromycin (24.61%), Ciprofloxacin (18.46%), Augmentin (15.40%) and Norfloxacin (9.23%). Regarding the source of antibiotics used for self-treatment, 38.46% participants used the leftover medicines at home, 35.38% purchased from pharmacies / medical stores. The samples provided by representatives of pharmaceutical companies were the source of medicines for 16.93% participants whereas; 9.23% students obtained the drugs from Hospital Pharmacies for the purpose of self-medication. Conclusion: This study has shown that self-medication is common among undergraduate students of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad and injudicious use of antibiotics is also on rise among younger medical students. Keywords: Self-medication, Medical Students, Antibiotics, Prevalence, Questionnaire.


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