Perceptions and Practices of Self-Medication among Medical Students in Coastal South India

Nithin Kumar, Tanuj Kanchan, Bhaskaran Unnikrishnan, T. Rekha, Prasanna Mithra, Vaman Kulkarni, Mohan Kumar Papanna, Ramesh Holla, Surabhi Uppal

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Self-medication is a common practice worldwide and the irrational use of drugs is a cause of concern. This study assessed the prevalence of self-medication among the medical students in South India. The data was analysed using SPSS version 11.5. A total of 440 students were included in the study. The prevalence of self-medication was 78.6%. A larger number of females were self-medicating (81.2%) than males (75.3%). The majority of the students self-medicated because of the illness being too trivial for consultation (70.5%). Antipyretics were most commonly self-medicated by the participants (74.8%). Only 47% of the participants opined that self-medication was a part of self-care and it needs to be encouraged. 39.3% of the participants perceived that the supply of medicine without prescription by the pharmacist can prevent the growing trend of self-medication. Easy availability and accessibility to health care facilities remains the cornerstone for reducing the practice of self-medication.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72247
JournalPLoS One
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28-08-2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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