OBJECTIVE: To study the impact of learning pharmacology on the practice of self-medication among medical students.
METHODS: This questionnaire based cross sectional study was conducted on 674 medical students of Sheikh Zayed Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan, Pakistan at the end of their curriculum from Oct to Dec 2016. Group-A comprised of 318 students of 1st and 2nd year while Group-B comprised of 356 students of 3rd and 4th year.
RESULTS: The mean age of the students in group-A was 20±1.8 years and in group-B it was 22±2.2 years. The prevalence of self-medication in group-A and group-B was 285/318 (89.62%) and 305/356 (85.67%) respectively. Main reasons for self-medication were time-saving, mild-illness and quick relief (p<0.05). Commonly used drugs in both groups were analgesic 240/318 (75.47%) in group-A and 265/356 (74.43%) in group-B, antipyretic 222/318 (69.81%) in group-A and 242/356 (67.97%) in group-B, antacids 215/318 (67.61%) in group-A and 224/356 (62.92%) in group-B. However, 3rd and 4th year students used antibiotics, anxiolytics and multivitamins twice as compared to 1st and 2nd year students (p<0.05). Awareness about self-medication practices in terms of dosage, duration of treatment, adverse effects, precautions, drug interactions was quite high in group-B as compared to group-A (p<0.05). Similarly, group-B also was aware of over-the-counter drugs, expiry of drug and reading leaflet instruction (p<0.05).
CONCLUSION: The practice of self-medication was not much different in senior and junior medical students; however, senior medical students were more concerned about the rationale use of drugs after learning pharmacology.KEY WORDS: Learning (MeSH); Pharmacology (MeSH); Medical Students (MeSH); Self-Medication (MeSH).
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