American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Evaluation of Self-Medication Among Pharmacy Students

Suleiman Ibrahim Sharif, Osama Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, Laila Mouslli and Riham Waisi

DOI : 10.3844/ajptsp.2012.135.140

American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Volume 7, Issue 4

Pages 135-140


To determine the incidence of self-medication among Sharjah university students and the impact of medical knowledge on such practice. A pre-validated questionnaire was distributed to 200 pharmacy students during May, 2012. Data were analyzed using SPSS and results expressed as counts and percentages. The overall response rate was 85% with 98% of respondents being Arabs. Females comprised about 91% of students and the mean age (SD) was 19.5(2.4). Practicing self-medication in the past year was high as145 (86%) used drugs without medical consultation. Most respondents (128, 76%) obtained their medication from pharmacies and used the medication for one week (106, 63%). Antibiotics were used by 54(32%) of students despite the fact that slightly more than 50% of students were aware of the possibility of emergence of bacterial resistance and were also aware of the concept of rational drug use in general. Main reasons for self-medication were non-serious health problem, illness is minor, seeking quick relief and to avoid long waiting hours at clinics. Reasons against self-medication include risks of adverse effects, using the wrong medication, drug interaction, misdiagnosis and drug abuse and dependence. Medical consultation is mainly sought in case of presence of severe pain, worsening of symptoms, or persistence of the latter for more than a week. Headache or mild pain, eye and ear symptoms, gastric problems, cold, fever and allergy were the commonest symptoms for self-medication. Knowledge of responsible self medication is inadequate but the practice is high and common among pharmacy students. Interventions to promote responsible self-medication among university students are required.


© 2012 Suleiman Ibrahim Sharif, Osama Hussein Mohamed Ibrahim, Laila Mouslli and Riham Waisi. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.