Document Type : Original Article


Government Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India


CONTEXT: Inappropriate self‑medication can increase chances of adverse drug reactions, disease
aggravation, or drug interactions. Analgesics are most commonly used as self‑medication.
AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare analgesic self‑medication practices among
medical and paramedical undergraduate students of a tertiary care teaching institute in Central India.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross‑sectional, observational study was conducted in 216
undergraduate medical (MBBS and BDS) and paramedical (occupational therapy/physiotherapy
and BSc nursing) students. A predesigned, self‑developed, semi‑structured questionnaire was used.
STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: The Chi‑square test was used for testing statistical significance.
RESULTS: The overall prevalence of self‑medication with analgesics was 83.33%. Self‑medication
was significantly high among medical students as compared to paramedical students (P = 0.003).
Significantly more medical students were aware about adverse drug reactions of analgesics as
compared to paramedical students (P = 0.019). The most common source of information about
drugs was previous prescription (58.33%), followed by media including the Internet (53.70%). The
most dominant symptom compelling self‑medication was found to be muscular pain (42.12%),
followed by headache (36.57%). 54.16% of the students revealed that self‑medication provides
quick relief from pain. The most commonly used analgesic was paracetamol (82.40%), followed
by diclofenac (22.68%). A significant number of paramedical students do not know exactly what
precautions should be taken while taking analgesics (P = 0.002).
CONCLUSIONS: Medical students are more indulged in self‑medication practices with analgesics.
Paramedical students need to be educated regarding safe use of analgesics.


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