Prevalence, practice and pattern of self-medication among medical students in Al-Iraqia Medical College, Baghdad, Iraq

Nawar Sahib Khalil, Reem Ali Haddad, Israa Talib Hassan2, Ruqaya Subhi Tawfeeq


Introduction: Self-medication is increasingly being a common practice worldwide more so amongst the medical students. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of self-medication among the medical students and to describe the self-reported practice and pattern of medication by undergraduate medical students at Al-Iraqia University in Baghdad city.
Methods: This study is a cross-sectional survey. Out of 440 students enrolled, 400 (>90%) responded. The data was collected using self-administrated pretested questionnaire and then analyzed using SPSS version 18.0.
Results: During the last one year preceding the study, 85% of respondents using self-medication mostly among single students (98.2%), aged 20+ years old (56.5%), in fourth academic level (27.1%), living with their families (73.2%) and of non-sufficient income (54.7%). The main indication for seeking self-medication include headache as reported by 83.8% followed by cold and cough and fever 80.3% and pain elsewhere in body (70%). Drugs commonly used for self-medication included analgesics 89.4% and anti-pyretic 67.9%. Minor illness was the most common reason for self-medication (80.6%). 56.8% and 45% of respondents follow pharmacist and textbooks respectively as a source of information in practicing self-medication. Most of respondents practiced self-medication for themselves (57.9%) and for both; themselves and their family members (45%). Some level of awareness was reported among non-practiced self-medication students; 60% of them were afraid from risk of adverse reaction of drugs.
Conclusion: Self-medication is broadly practiced among medical students in this College. Therefore, there is need to improve the medical educational program to raise the awareness level regarding the advantage and disadvantages of self-medication to ensure safe usage of drugs.


Prevalence, self-medication, practice.

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