Self Medication among Undergraduate Medical Students: An Alarming Concern of “Over the Counter” Drugs in Nepal

  • Jenash Acharya Department of Forensic Medicine, Kathmandu Medical College, Nepal
  • Sanjaya Mani Dixit Department of Pharmacology, Kathmandu Medical College, Nepal
  • Samir Ghimire Kathmandu Medical College, Kathamandu, Nepal
Keywords: self-medication, self-care, over counter drugs


Introduction: Self-medication signifies using drugs that have not been prescribed, recommended or controlled by a licensed health professional. At present self medication is reportedly a global issue and the practice is predominant in developing and under-developed countries. The main aim of this study is to try and uncover the attitude and practice of students in a medical school located inside Kathmandu valley towards prescription and self-medication

Methods: A total of 104 students currently studying in one of the medical schools located inside Kathmandu Valley was provided a informed implied and verbal consent to participate in the study. All students were given a pre-validated, semi-structured questionnaire inside a lecture hall in their free hours between lectures. The data was analyzed and chi square test was done (p value<0.05) to see the association between medical students and their mind-set towards self medication.

Results: Among the total respondents, 80.8% thought that self medication was a part of self-care and 89.4% planned to continue self medication, 47.1% of them reported that they would advise their friends to stop practicing self medication, 70% reported having a registered medical practitioner with permission to prescribe medicines within 5-9 minutes walking distance from their abode, whereas around 1% reported that they self medicated so that they would not disturb the practioners. From the total, 6.7% presented with some side effects and had to visit the hospital

Conclusions: High incidence of self medication among undergraduate medical students might be able to sense false entitlement of almost being a doctor with authority to prescribe soon.