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A review of self-medication practices among students of health-care professions in India

 Department of Nursing Services, Indian Railway Health Services, Bikaner, Rajasthan, India

Correspondence Address:
Shatrughan Pareek,
N.W.R. Divisional Hospital, Bikaner, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_81_20

The principles of medication management include storing, ordering, dispensing, and administration of the medications. Each of these steps is equally important to achieve the maximum benefits of the medicines. However, self-medication is common across the globe where these principles are severely compromised. Self-administration of medication is an approach in which an individual uses a medicine or drug to treat any symptoms or diagnosed disorder. It is an individual's initiative to take medicines without consulting a doctor and commonly used to gain personal independence and autonomy to treat minor illness. Its prevalence in developing countries is significantly high and ranges from 12.7% to 95%. This review examines self-medication practices among students of various health-care courses. The search criteria included studies published from 2008 to 2018. All studies that explored the use of self-medication practices among the Indian students of various health-care professions were retrieved. Three major databases Google Scholar, PubMed, and Shodhganga were searched. The keywords used for search included “self-medication,” India, prevalence, students, medical, dental, nursing, pharmacology, and physiotherapy. In total, 106 articles were reviewed, 21 of these studies met the inclusion criteria. The number of total participants across all studies was 7271. Overall, 5875 (80.80%) participants were practicing self-medication. Analgesics, antipyretics, antibiotics, antacids, and anti-allergic drugs were commonly used drugs for self-medication. Some studies also revealed that students have poor knowledge regarding drug reactions, and this can significantly compromise patient safety. Whereas, the study reveals that the practice of self-medication among the students is alarmingly high. This presents a significant challenge to patient safety and also poses a threat to public health in view of ever-increasing antibiotics resistant. The government must take immediate actions to regulate over-the-counter medication availabilities and also ensure a wider education program for the public.

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