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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-27

Self-medication among undergraduate medical students in Kuwait with reference to the role of the pharmacist


1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), Kuwait
2 Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Nursing, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET), Kuwait
3 Department of Statistics and Operations Research, Kuwait University, Kuwait

Correspondence Address:
Maryam Al-Hussaini
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET)
Kuwait
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2279-042X.132706

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Objective: The practice of self-medication is growing world-wide. It is associated with problems that may lead to potentially life-threatening complications represent a priority to be investigated. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of self-medication among undergraduate medical students and to evaluate the possible role of the pharmacist in self-medication in Kuwait. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was performed, using the questionnaire on a sample of 900 male and female students randomly selected from three health faculties in Kuwait. The prevalence of self-medication, as well as the contribution of pharmacist in self-medication was assessed. In addition, the role of the pharmacist as drug consultant for the students after getting the medication was evaluated. Findings: The overall prevalence of self-medication was 97.8%. The age was significantly inversely proportional to self-medication. There was a significant difference between male and female students in self-medication practice. Headache was the highest health conditions that most frequently motivated self-medication with 90.1% prevalence, followed by 84.7% for dysmenorrhea and 60.3% for constipation. Contribution of the pharmacist as a part of self-medication care was low totally, with the highest rate for cough conditions 40.1%. However, the role of the pharmacist as a drug consultant was more noticeable after obtaining the drug, not before. Around 80.1% of the students request information from the pharmacist about doses, duration of treatments and side-effects. Conclusion: The prevalence of self-medication among undergraduate students in Kuwait is high and there were significant differences for age and gender. The contribution of the pharmacist was low in self-medication, while it was high after getting the drugs for obtaining drug related information. The practice of self-medication is alarming. Improved awareness about the role of pharmacist as a drug consultant for careful and cautious use of medicines available for self-medication would be strongly recommended.


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