The prevalence of self medication in Karachi

Author : Safila Naveed, Humera Ishaq, Bushra Ali, Humera Arshad, Mehmeen Maryam and Sundus Pervaiz

Self-medication is the use of medication without prescription, orientation, or supervision of a physician or dentist. Self-medication might become a serious health problem [1] .In Pakistan; almost every pharmacy sells drugs without prescription, and there is no concept of community Pharmacy, furthermore no pharmacist is present on the counter to guide customers. As a result, antibiotics and potential habit forming medicines are easily sold as OTC drugs to a common man. Improper use of combination of OTC drugs can be very harmful. The improper use of some drugs can lead to addiction. The purpose of this survey based study was to identify the prevalence and factors associated with self-medication among population of Karachi that comprises of people with various age groups, in both genders. This study assessed the prevalence of self-medication, and determined what commonly used drugs are as self medication.95% of population showed self medication which included pain reliever such as paracetamol and other NSAIDS, cough, cold medications, antihistamines, antacids and antibiotics. About 30% of the respondents suffered with adverse effects due to self medication. These substances are generally purchased for medicinal purpose and an often tend to be effective. But they may be later misused or overused. Basically the poor awareness leaves the layman uninformed about the potentially lethal effects of some of these drugs. Cost issues causes the general public to approach various other doors instead of a doctor\'s to seek help for a problem. This study presents the results of the Pakistani nationís knowledge, attitude, and practice towards self medication. Easy availability and accessibility to healthcare facilities helps reducing the practice of self medication

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