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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40--43

Self-medication among urban population of Jammu city

R Sharma1, U Verma1, CL Sharma2, B Kapoor1,  
1 Departments of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Govt. Medical College, Jammu, India
2 Armed Medical Corps, India

Correspondence Address:
R Sharma
Departments of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Govt. Medical College, Jammu

How to cite this article:
Sharma R, Verma U, Sharma C L, Kapoor B. Self-medication among urban population of Jammu city.Indian J Pharmacol 2005;37:40-43

How to cite this URL:
Sharma R, Verma U, Sharma C L, Kapoor B. Self-medication among urban population of Jammu city. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2005 [cited 2023 Sep 25 ];37:40-43
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Self-medication can be defined as obtaining and consuming drugs without the advice of a physician either for diagnosis, prescription or surveillance of treatment.[1] There is a lot of public and professional concern about the irrational use of drugs. In developing countries like India, easy availability of a wide range of drugs coupled with inadequate health services result in increased proportions of drugs used as self medication compared to prescribed drugs.[2] Although, OTC (over the counter) drugs are meant for self medication and are of proved efficacy and safety, their improper use due to lack of knowledge of their side effects and interactions could have serious implications, especially in extremes of ages (children and old age) and special physiological conditions like pregnancy and lactation.[3],[4] There is always a risk of interaction between active ingredients of hidden preparations of OTC drugs and prescription medicines, as well as increased risk of worsening of existing disease pathology. As very few studies have been published regarding self medication pattern in our community, therefore, we conducted this cross-sectional study in 600 urban families living in Jammu city to evaluate their self medication practices.

Nuclear families were selected randomly by stratified sampling and Jammu city was arbitrarily divided in 10 sections and 60 families were randomly selected from each section. The families under study were further classified into two classes; class-A with head of the family having qualification more than 12th standard and class-B with qualification less than 12th standard. A family having another member with qualification more than 12th standard was also included in the class-A even if the head was not qualified up to the 12th standard. 380 families were included in class-A and 220 families in class-B. A simple questionnaire was prepared and each family was interviewed only once in the local language. At least two members of the family (including head of the family and excluding children below 12 years and mentally sick persons) were interviewed together after obtaining their consent. The questionnaire was filled by a qualified assistant. The questionnaire contained the questions pertaining to identifications data (name of head of the family, number (no.) of children, no. of adults, address, qualifications, employment, income), practice of self medication by the family, commonly used drugs as self medication, knowledge of the family regarding dose, duration, side effects and interactions of the drugs in use, source of information about the drug, attitude towards allopathic, ayurvedic and homeopathic medicines and a recall period of one year was kept. In the end of the study all the data was collected and analysed [Table:1] and [Table:2]. All the parameters were compared between class-A and class-B using Chi-square test and P values Name of head of the family.How many children and adults are in the family?What is your full residential address?What is the qualification and occupation of adults in the family? What is the monthly income of the family? Has any member (adult or child) taken drug without doctor's advise in the preceding one year ?Name the drugs commonly used by you or other member of your family as self medication in the preceding one year.Do you have any knowledge about dose, duration of therapy, side-effects and interactions of the drugs in use?What is the source of information about drugs? Friends, doctor, drug-advertisements, chemist/paramedics or any other.Do your family members believe in ayurvedic medicine, homeopathic medicine or allopathic medicine?Name illnesses for which any member of your family have used ayurvedic or homeopathic medicine.Are you satisfied with the health care facilities available?Have you or any other member of your family ever experienced any adverse effect with drugs taken as self medication in the preceding one year?


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