Author(s): Manu Gangadhar1, Padmanabha Thiruganahalli Shivaraju2, Chandrakantha Thippeswamy3, Neha Krishnegowda4
Over-the-counter drugs (OTC) or non-prescriptive drugs are the drugs that are purchased without a prescription. Medical professionals have a common tendency to practice self-medication when they feel sick themselves. Self-medication practice in medical professionals gets incorporated right from their undergraduate days. As medical students are the future medical practitioners, it assumes a specific significance among them.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
To analyze the use of over-the-counter drugs among medical students, to determine the type of OTC drugs commonly used and to determine the various factors responsible for the usage of OTC drugs.
A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted among 2nd year medical students of AIMS, B. G. Nagar.
Among 160 students, 118 were female students (73.75%) and 42 were male students (26.25%) and were within the age group of 19 to 21 years. 84.37 % (n=135) of the participants were aware of OTC drugs and 76.87 % (n=123) of participants knew the name of some drugs which fall under this category. 43.75% of the participants use OTC drugs very rarely and 40.62% of participants once a month. Fever (78.12%) and headache (78.75%) were the most common ailments for using OTC drugs following for cold/cough (76.25%), pain (63.12%) and acidity (51.87%). Commonly used drugs were analgesics (68.75%), antipyretics (65.62%), cough suppressants (51.87%), antacids (44.37%), vitamins (32.5%), anti-allergens (18.75%) and anti-emetic drugs (6.87%). 70.62% of participants think why to seek doctor’s advice as it is a minor ailment. 45.62% of participants were confident in self-medication, 43.12% of participants think that they can save time by self-medication.
In our study, OTC medication is widely used among medical students. It is important to create awareness about harmful effects of OTC drugs among medical students as they are future health care providers and prevent untoward consequences.