Background: Self-medication could be risky behavior and has negative effects. While Over the Counter (OTC) drugs are available at drugstores, the behavior has become prevalent among the general population.
Objective: This study aimed at surveying self-medication behavior among medical sciences students of Shiraz, Iran.
Methods: A sample of 396 students from medical, paramedical, and health sciences disciplines were included in this cross-sectional study. They were asked to fill a questionnaire about their demographics and socioeconomic status, medication usage and self-medication in the last six months, information about the correct use of medication, and information about negative results of selfmedication. Data were analyzed using chi-square, t-test and logistic regression model using R statistical software.
Results: Almost 72% of participants reported self-medication in the past sixth months. The main reasons included trust in their own diagnosis (59.9%), mildness of the disease (56.6%), and having previous experience about the disease (56%). Cough or cold (84.5%), headache (66.3%), and body pain (60.2%) were the most frequent diseases that led to self-medication. The majority of the participants (77.7%) reported they select their medicine on their own decision. Furthermore, self-medication was highly related to having medicine stock at home (OR=2.692), having less information about negative results of self-medication (OR=0.835), and more non-syllabus study time (OR=1.041).
Conclusion: Although, medical science students have information about the treatment of illnesses, they should be more informed about negative results and side-effects of self-medication. They should also share their knowledge with society to decrease self-medication.
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