Self-Medication Practice Among Medical And Non-Medical Students At Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia
Background: Self-medication is a common practice worldwide, particularly among adolescents and University students, and the irrational use of medicines is a cause of concern Objectives: To assess students' practices, knowledge, awareness and the reasons behind self-medication at Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Subjects and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 June until 31 August (2015) at Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia. The study recruited 503 students of all academic years (349 medical and 154 non-medical students). The data were collected through a self-administered structured questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of demographic data and data about studentsí practice, attitude and reasons behind the use of self- medication. The collected data were analyzed using appropriate statistical methods. The level of statistical significance was defined as P ≤ 0.05. Results: The prevalence of self-medication among the studied students was 64.8% (326 out of 503 students), and there was significant difference by students' faculty, study year and family structure. The prevalence was higher among medical (66%), final years (75%), female (65.5%), and students living alone (77.8%). The self- medication students reported that they used un-prescribed medication to treat headache (35.9%), sore-throat and upper respiratory tract infections (42.9%), fever (14.1%), GIT problems (5.9%), and skin problems 91.2%). The most important self- medications used by students were analgesics (60.3%), antibiotics (30.6%), antipyretics (5.6%), vitamins (3.4%), and antihistamines (1.1%). The main source of information about medicines was the study books and learning experiences. The experience in self-medication was the most important reason of using self-medication in the studied students. However, most of the students (medical and non medical) reported non-favorable attitude towards self-medication and suggested health education and legislation to stop this phenomenon among university students. Conclusions: The study finding revealed a high prevalence rate of self-medication among the studied students. The study findings address the crucial need to develop structured health education programs to prevent growing trend of self-medication among University students.
.Keywords- Attitude, Cross sectional study, Practice, Self-medication, Students, Saudi Arabia.