• Muhammad Luqman Farrukh Nagi Medicine, Shalamar Medical and Dental College, Lahore.
  • Syed Tehseen Haider Kazmi Medicine, Shalamar Medical and Dental College, Lahore.
  • Sufyan Mehboob Shalamar Institute of Health Sciences, Lahore.
  • Salman Abdul Basit Shalamar Institute of Health Sciences, Lahore
  • Sultan Ali Shalamar Institute of Health Sciences, Lahore.
  • Rana Haroon Haider



Self Medication,, undergraduate medical students,, antibiotics


Background: The utilization of medication by individuals in an attempt to
treat self-recognized symptoms themselves is termed self-medication. Medical students face
obscurity when they seek health care for themselves. This study was conducted to assess
the prevalence of self-medication among the private undergraduate medical students of a
private medical college of Lahore to assess the students’ attitudes regarding the practice of
self-medication. Study Design: Cross sectional study. Setting: The participants were students
of Shalamar Medical and Dental College, Lahore a Private Institute, in Lahore. Period: May
to September 2015 (5 months). Methods: The sampling frame constituted of 600 eligible
students. The sample size of 192 was calculated assuming 76% prevalence of self-medication
practice with 5% relative precision and 95% confidence interval. Systematic random sampling
was utilized to administer a modified, self-administered, structured questionnaire. Institutional
review board (IRB) of Shalamar Institute of Health Sciences granted permission to carry out
the research. The questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 200 subjects after a signed
informed consent was obtained. The data entry and analyses were done in SPSS for Windows
version 20.0. Results: The response rate was 100%. The average age of the participants
(n= 200) was 21.7 ±1.5 years. Almost 83% (n= 159) of students admitted to practice selfmedication
with a different range of antibiotics. Convenience 62% (n= 124) was chosen to be
the main reason of self-medication followed by cost saving 14% (n= 28) and lack of trust in
prescribing physician 12% (n= 24). Fever 18% (n= 77), sore throat 19% (n= 81) and cough
18% (n= 79) were the main reasons for self-medication. Opinion of family members 30% (n=
60), personal previous experiences 25% (n= 49) and doctor’s previous prescription 18% (n=
35) were major criterion for selection of antibiotic. Local community pharmacies were used as
a source of obtaining antibiotics for self-administration by 72% (n =144). The relation between
self-medication and type of antibiotic taken in consideration before use was highly significant,
Χ2 (1, n= 200) = 12.37, p<.001. The relation between local community pharmacies as a source
of getting antibiotics for self-administration and self-medication was also highly significant, Χ2
(1, n= 200) = 17.87, p<.001. Conclusion: Self Medication with antibiotics and analgesics is
common among undergraduate medical students. Local community pharmacies play a critical
role as a source of disbursement of antibiotics.

Author Biographies

Muhammad Luqman Farrukh Nagi, Medicine, Shalamar Medical and Dental College, Lahore.

Assistant Professor,
Department of Community

Syed Tehseen Haider Kazmi, Medicine, Shalamar Medical and Dental College, Lahore.

Department of Community

Rana Haroon Haider

Shalamar Institute of Health
Sciences, Lahore