Self-medication among Undergraduate Medical Students of Alexandria Faculty of Medicine: Where do We Stand?

  • Marwa Ramadan Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Asmaa Eltaweel Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Tamwe El Nakhal Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Hanan Hemead Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Abdelrahman Maraqa Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Doha Abish Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Rana Essam Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
  • Azza Baraka Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.
Keywords: Self-Medications, OTC Drugs, Non-Prescription Drugs, Medical Students, Egypt

Abstract

Background: The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of self-medication among undergraduate medical students in Alexandria Faculty of Medicine and recognize the patterns and the attitude of students towards intake.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among undergraduate medical students attending Alexandria Faculty of Medicine from both national and international programs during the period of June 2013 until October 2013. A self-administrated, semi-constructed questionnaire was used to assess the practice of self-medication among 408 students who were randomly selected using a stratified random sample technique.

Results: Self-medication was reported by 208 (52.7%) students, with no significant difference between males and females. The highest percentage of self-medication was reported among those who have completed six years of academic study and the lowest was reported among those who have completed two years of academic study. There was a statistically significant association between educational stage (preclinical and clinical) practice of self-medication. Most common medications involved were analgesic and anti-inflammatory followed by decongestants, antimicrobials and antihistaminic drugs. 309 (78.8%) students believed that self-medication is acceptable.

Conclusion: The present study demonstrated that self-medication is practiced by more than half of undergraduate medical students in the Faculty of Medicine - Alexandria University. Acquiring medical knowledge seems to be associated with the practice of self-medication. Therefore, more attention should be paid to medical curricula to raise awareness and limit the hazardous effects of this phenomenon

Author Biography

Marwa Ramadan, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt.

Marwa Ramadan is working as Assistant Lecturer of Occupational Health at the Department of Community Medicine and Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt.

References

World Health Organization. Guidelines for the regulatory assessment of medicinal products for use in self-medication. 2000.

Asubonteng Rivers P, Bae S. Substance abuse and dependence in physicians: detection and treatment. Health Manpow Manage. 1998;24(5):183-187.

Leape LL, Fromson JA. Problem doctors: is there a system-level solution? Ann Intern Med. 2006;144(2):107-115.

Bohigian GM, Croughan JL, Sanders K. Substance abuse and dependence in physicians: an overview of the effects of alcohol and drug abuse. Mo Med. 1994 May;91(5):233-239.

James H, Handu SS, Al Khaja KA, Otoom S, Sequeira RP. Evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first-year medical students. Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(4):270-275.

Kiyingi K, Lauwo J. Drugs in the home: danger and waste. 1993.

Hughes CM, McElnay JC, Fleming GF. Benefits and risks of self medication. Drug Safety. 2001;24(14):1027-1037.

Hem E, Stokke G, Tyssen R, Grønvold NT, Vaglum P, Ekeberg Ø. Self-prescribing among young Norwegian doctors: a nine-year follow-up study of a nationwide sample. BMC Medicine. 2005;3(1):16.

Bretagne JF, Richard-Molard B, Honnorat C, Caekaert A, Barthelemy P. Gastroesophageal reflux in the French general population: national survey of 8000 adults. Presse Med. 2006 Jan;35(1 Pt 1):23-31.

Shankar P, 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(1):17.

Abahussain E, Matowe LK, Nicholls PJ. Self-reported medication use among adolescents in Kuwait. Med Princ Pract. 2005 May-Jun;14(3):161-164.

Zafar SN, Syed R, Waqar S, Irani FA, Saleem S. Prescription of medicines by medical students of Karachi, Pakistan: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health. 2008;8(1):162.

Alhomoud F, Aljamea Z, Almahasnah R, Alkhalifah K, Basalelah L, Alhomoud FK. Self-medication and self-prescription with antibiotics in the Middle East-do they really happen? A systematic review of the prevalence, possible reasons, and outcomes. Int J Infect Dis. 2017 Apr;57:3-12.

Byarugaba DK. A view on antimicrobial resistance in developing countries and responsible risk factors. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2004 Aug;24(2):105-110.

Hart CA, Kariuki S. Antimicrobial resistance in developing countries. BMJ. 1998 Sep 5;317(7159):647-650.

Grigoryan L, Burgerhof JG, Degener JE, Deschepper R, Lundborg CS, Monnet DL, et al. Determinants of self-medication with antibiotics in Europe: the impact of beliefs, country wealth and the healthcare system. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2008;61(5):1172-1179.

Chew‐Graham CA, Rogers A, Yassin N. ‘I wouldn't want it on my CV or their records': medical students' experiences of help‐seeking for mental health problems. Med Educ. 2003;37(10):873-880.

Roberts LW, Warner TD, Lyketsos C, Frank E, Ganzini L, Carter D. Perceptions of academic vulnerability associated with personal illness: a study of 1,027 students at nine medical schools. Collaborative Research Group on Medical Student Health. Compr Psychiatry. 2001 Jan-Feb;42(1):1-15.

James H, Handu SS, Khaja KA, Sequeira RP. Influence of medical training on self-medication by students. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jan;46(1):23-29.

Zafar SN, Syed R, Waqar S, Zubairi AJ, Vaqar T, Shaikh M, et al. Self-medication amongst university students of Karachi: prevalence, knowledge and attitudes. J Pak Med Assoc. 2008 Apr;58(4):214-7.

El Ezz N, Ez-Elarab H. Knowledge, attitude and practice of medical students towards self medication at Ain Shams University, Egypt. J Prev Med Hyg. 2011 Dec;52(4):196-200.

Helal R, Abou-ElWafa H. Self-Medication in University Students from the City of Mansoura, Egypt. J Environ Public Health. 2017;2017:9145193.

Banerjee I, Bhadury T. Self-medication practice among undergraduate medical students in a tertiary care medical college, West Bengal. J Postgrad Med. 2012;58(2):127.

Klemenc-Ketiš Z, Hladnik Ž, Kersnik J. A cross sectional study of sex differences in self-medication practices among university students in Slovenia. Coll Antropol. 2011;35(2):329-334.

Bennadi D. Self-medication: A current challenge. J Basic Clin Pharm. 2013 Dec;5(1):19-23.

Pandya RN, Jhaveri KS, Vyas FI, Patel VJ. Prevalence, pattern and perceptions of self-medication in medical students. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;2(3):275-280.

Published
2018-05-10
How to Cite
Ramadan, M., Eltaweel, A., El Nakhal, T., Hemead, H., Maraqa, A., Abish, D., Essam, R., & Baraka, A. (2018). Self-medication among Undergraduate Medical Students of Alexandria Faculty of Medicine: Where do We Stand?. International Journal of Medical Students, 6(2), 52-55. Retrieved from https://www.ijms.info/index.php/IJMS/article/view/41
Section
Original Article