Self-medication Practices among Patients with Upper Respiratory Tract Infection Attending a Peripheral Health Center in North India

Ruqia Quansar, Mohsina Mukhtar, . Sajad Tak, S M Salim Khan


Background: Self-medication is irrational use of medication or drugs which can lead to resistance and economic losses. It is very rampant nowadays and needs immediate attention to prevent or reduce drug resistance which is a global threat today. Inappropriate drug use also leads to economic losses as well as abuse among the users. Some drugs may lead to drug reactions, allergies, and side effects if used in inappropriate doses and duration. The problem of self-medication needs to be addressed and thus prevent drug resistance. Methodology: A hospital-based cross-sectional observational study was carried out for 3 months during the period of October 2019 till December 2019. A total of 341 patients were interviewed who consented to be a part of the study. Results: A total of 197 (57.8%) patients reported the use of self-medication among which majority belonged to the age group of 18–25 years of age (30.9%), were male (54.3%), had qualification up to higher secondary (29.9%), were unmarried (45.1%). The main reason for self-medication was prior experience of the drug (27.9%), source of information was drug presence at home (29.9%), majority used antibiotic and anti-allergic combination (35.1%) and 11.7% developed adverse drug reactions. Conclusion: Self-medication is highly rampant in the society. The inappropriate use of drugs may lead to resistance and economic losses. Measures should be taken to check the sale of over-the-counter drugs, more strict measures for dispensing of drugs and ban of advertising medications. The general population should be made aware of the side effects of the drugs and their inappropriate use.

Key words: Self-medication, over-the-counter drug, upper respiratory tract illness, antibiotic resistance, outpatient department, drug abuse

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