COMMUNITY LEVEL EVALUATION OF SELF-MEDICATION PRACTICES IN STATE OF KERALA
Vignesh Krishnan Nagesh, *Sowparnika Treasa Sabu and Vivek Joseph Varughese
Self medication of drugs, especially antibiotics have been a major cause of concern, especially in the developed countries, where people are able to procure drugs without a proper prescription from the physician. The major concern with this pattern of drug use is the emergence of antibiotic resistance. This has been voiced by the WHO also. Unnecessary antibiotic usage for diseases that require only symptomatic treatment, and injudicious use of broad spectrum antibiotics for pathogens that are highly specific and sensitive towards a narrow spectrum antibiotic are all leading to the evolution of multidrug resistant pathogens. These deadly microbes can make the management of sepsis and concomitant infections, especially in the immunocompromised patients highly cumbersome and complicated. A thorough and stringent check on the injudicious use of antibiotics is highly warranted. This study analyses the socio-economic, educational and regional factors that affect the practice of self medication, and also describes the various factors that may trigger and maintain the same, along with their proportional influence. With the idea of where and why the practice of self medication is more prevalent, it would be helpful for the appropriate institutions to place a check on the same. This cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted over a six month period among population of Kerala. It involved online survey regarding self-medication of 200 respondents selected by simple random sampling. Results: Self-medication was reported by 77%. Commonly used analgesic drug was Paracetamol and antibiotic was Amoxycillin. Sore throat and headache was the most common condition for which self medication was done. 34% responded that major reason for self medication was it is less expensive in terms of time/money.
Keywords: Prescription drugs, Antibiotics, Self medication.
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