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Indian Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Self-medication practices among residents of Puducherry – A cross sectional questionnaire based survey

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Author Details : M. Shanmuga Priyan, B. Maharani, A. Lourdu Jafrin, Vijay K. Chavada, G. Sivagnanam

Volume : 4, Issue : 4, Year : 2017

Article Page : 168-171

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Introduction: Improper self-medication of Over the Counter (OTC) drugs and /or drugs from earlier prescription may result in adverse drug reactions and /or serious drug interactions with co-administered alternate system of drugs. Information on self-medication practices, the factors influencing such practices and incidence of ADRs associated with self-medication among the residents of Puducherry is not available.
Aim: To study the prevalence of self-medication among the residents of Puducherry and to determine the factors that influences the pattern of self-medication.
Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional questionnaire based study, was carried out using a pretested validated questionnaire on self-medication practices on a randomly selected population of adult residents of Puducherry.

Results: Among the 380 participants who responded by answering to the questionnaire, 34.5% were males and 65.5% were females. Mean age of the respondents was 36.4±11.7 yrs. approximately 59.5% of the respondents self-medicated with allopathic drugs. The frequency of self-medication by the respondents ranged from once (31.3%) to more than 5 times (11.1%) in the past six months recall period. Statistically significant association was found between occupation and self-medication (p<0.01). The commonest symptoms for which the respondents self-medicated were headache and fever (60.2 and 42.0% respectively). Most common drugs consumed by self-medication were NSAIDs (63.71%) in which paracetamol contributed to 43.36% followed by anti-histaminics (28.31%). Private pharmacy (89.8%) was the major source of drugs for self-medication followed by left over drugs in the home (5.3%). Simpler nature of the disease was the reason given by 66.4% of the self-medicated individuals. A side effect with self-medication was experienced by 11.9% of the respondents. Alternate system of medicine was used by 24.3% respondents with self-medication. Pharmaceutical expiry date was always checked by 87.2% of the respondents.

Conclusion: Self-medication prevalence in the community surveyed is moderately high. Joint efforts by the health careers including community pharmacists to educate the ill effect of self-medication among general public can help in reducing the practice of self-medication and betterment of the society.

Prescription drugs, expiry date, adverse drug reactions, alternate system of drugs

How to cite : Priyan M S, Maharani B, Jafrin A L, Chavada V K, Sivagnanam G, Self-medication practices among residents of Puducherry – A cross sectional questionnaire based survey. Indian J Pharm Pharmacol 2017;4(4):168-171

Copyright © 2017 by author(s) and Indian J Pharm Pharmacol. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) (