Self-Medication Practice in Students of Dubai Medical College for Girls (DMCG), UAE

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Fathima Muzeera, Tasnima Tayb, Yusra Iqbal, Shifan Khanday, Tasneem Sandozi


Self-medication; NSAIDs, Topical Medications


Self-medication involves the use of medications to treat self-recognized disorders or
symptoms, or the intermittent and/or continued use of a medication prescribed by a physician for
chronic or recurring diseases or symptoms. With higher availability of information and easier
accessibility to drugs, multiple studies have shown that healthcare students were more likely to apply
such practices of self-medication than non-healthcare students.
Aim: To assess the prevalence of self-medication practice in students at Dubai Medical College for
Girls (DMCG), UAE.
Material Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was undertaken for two
months between February and March 2022. Students from the first to the final year of DMCG
participated in the anonymous survey after prior consent and approval from the Research and
Ethical Committee at DMCG.
Results: Our study includes a sample size of 113 students from the first to the final year of DMCG. It
was observed that 86.7% of the students from this sample size are accustomed to self-medication
practices. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), topical medications, antihistamines,
antispasmodics/antiulcer drugs followed by antibiotics constituted the major self-medicated drug
groups. 65% of the students participating in the study belonged to the senior batches of DMCG
(3rd, 4th, and final year). More than 50% of the self-medicating students had a medical
background of health care professionals in their immediate family members who were aware of the
students’ self-medicating practice.
When medical students self-medicate themselves for common illnesses trusting their
knowledge acquired by medical education, they take the challenge of drug treatment fearlessly on
themselves or their close family members. A positive outcome of their self-medication boosts their
confidence and makes them self- assertive. Ultimately ‘Practice makes them perfect’ by the
time they become prescribing physicians. Conversely, ‘Little knowledge is always dangerous’ and
exhaustive updated knowledge of the drugs is obligatory to prevent any mishap or misuse of
drugs in their future as physicians.

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