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Self-Medication Practice with Nonprescription Medication among University Students: a review of the literature

Author(s): Dedy Almasdy | Azmi Sharrif

Journal: Archives of Pharmacy Practice
ISSN 2045-080X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 95;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Self-care | self-medication | minor illnesses | minor ailment | university | student

Objective: To review the literature relating to self-medicationpractice with nonprescription medication among universitystudents.Methods: A narrative review of studies on self-medicationpractice with nonprescription medication among universitystudent was performed. An extensive literature search wasundertaken using indexing services available at UniversitiSains Malaysia (USM) library. The following keywords wereused for the search: self-care, self-medication, over-thecountermedicine, nonprescription medicine, minor illnesses,minor ailment, university population and communitypharmacy. Electronic databases searched were Science Direct,Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Inside Web, JSTOR, SpringerLink, Proquest, Ebsco Host and Google Scholar. Theseelectronic databases were searched for full text paperspublished in English.Results: Eleven studies were identified. In general, the reviewhas shown that self-medication practice with nonprescriptionmedication highly prevalence among university students. Thereasons for self-medication are vary among this populationand the main symptoms leading to self-medication areheadache or minor pain; fever, flu, cough, or cold; anddiarrhoea.The common medication is analgesic, antipyreticproducts, cough and cold remedies, anti allergy andvitamins or minerals. The sources of the medicines arepharmacy, home medicine cabinet, supermarket/shopand other person such as family, friend, neighbours andclassmates. The sources of drug information are familymember, previous experience, pharmacy salesman,doctor or nurse, advertisement and others. The reviewalso has shown that the self-medication practice couldhave many problems.Conclusions: The review provides insights about theself-medication practices among the university students.These practices were highly prevalence among universitystudents. The symptoms leading to self-medication arevary, thus the medication used and the medicationsources. It needs an adequate drug information andappropriate pharmaceutical care in self-medicationpractice appropriately among university student. Furtherstudy looking into the self-medication related problemsassociated with non-prescription products is needed.
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