Prevalence and Main-string of Self Medication of Over-the-counter Drugs among Medical Students of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan.

Published: 19 February 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/5gdympwhyb.1
Zoha khan


Background: Over-the-counter drugs also known as OTC are readily available in the market without any prescription OTC medicines treat a variety of illnesses and their symptoms including pain, coughs and colds, diarrhea, constipation, acne, and others. The consequences of such practices should always be emphasized to the community and steps to restrict them. Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitude and practices regarding self-medication of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in Medical Students of AJK. Methods: Research was conducted among Medical Students of AJK. An online questionnaire was distributed among all 5 Years of all 4 Medical Colleges of AJK through WhatsApp. The data was collected between 25th June and 31st July 2023. SPSS-25 was used for data analysis. Results: A total of 372 participants recorded their responses. 65.3% practiced self-medication last year. The most common drugs used were Analgesics/Antipyretics (55.9%). Symptoms for which medical students self-medicated the most were fever, pain and toothache (58.1%). Conclusion: Self-medication of over-the-counter drugs is a modern-day problem. Medical students self-medicate without having proper knowledge and clinical skills. They change the treatment regimen multiple times according to their convenience, reducing the efficacy of the medicines. Keywords: Self-Medications, Over the Counter Drugs, Drug Resistance, Dependence.


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The study was conducted between 25th June and 31st July 2023 including medical Students of all 5 Years using convenient sampling techniques. The sample size was determined using the Raosoft Calculator. Assuming a total population of 2000, the final sample size was 323. Online questionnaires were circulated among the targeted population through WhatsApp groups and those who willingly filled the questionnaire were included in the data analysis. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice were dependent variables while Socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, year of study, district, medical college) were independent variables. (Limaye, 2017) (Torres, 2019) The questionnaire had 4 sections: Section-I: Demographics (06 questions) Section-II: Knowledge (07 questions) Section-III: Attitudes (10 questions) Section-IV: Practice (10 questions) All questions of Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice were answered in Yes/No except 2 questions related to type of Over the Counter Drug used in last year and symptoms for which that drug was used. (Helal, 2017) Data was entered and analyzed in Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 25 for analysis. Frequency of variables, regression analysis and Pearson correlation were used to determine the associations. A P-value of <0.05 was taken to declare statistical significance. (Harakeh, 2015)


Azad Jammu Kashmir Medical College Muzaffarabad


Clinical Pharmacology