SELF MEDICATION AMONGST DENTAL UNDERGRADUATES
BACKGROUND: Self-medication is a global phenomenon and a potential contributor to human pathogen resistance against several classes of drugs. (1) It is one of the major health concerns worldwide and WHO has laid emphasis on curbing the increasing menace. Numerous studies have been conducted on the topic to find out about the prevalence and practice of self-medication amongst the population but very few have assessed the enormity of the problem amongst dental graduates.
AIM: The study was conducted to analyze the pattern and habit of self-medication amongst junior and senior dental undergraduate students of three dental colleges in and around Chandigarh region.
METHOD: The study was a cross sectional, anonymous and descriptive study. The students were asked to answer the specified questionnaire exploring the use of drug in the last 6 months. The target population was divided into two major groups;
GROUP 1 was the second year students with knowledge about Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology but unexposed to the subject of Internal Medicine. The GROUP 2 students were the interns who had sound knowledge about Internal Medicine along with Pharmacology. The questionnaire comprised of 17 questions with yes/no answers. The comparison was made between the two groups using the chi square tests. P values <0.05 were considered statistically significant.
RESULTS: A total of 240 students, both male and female were included in the study. 64% of Group 1 respondents and 65% of Group 2 respondents admitted to using medication on their own. The Group 1 respondents used more of NSAIDS (59%) as compared to the Group 2 respondents (50%). Antibiotics were more frequently consumed by the Group 2 students (70%) in comparison to Group 1 students (49%). Adverse drug reactions were faced more by Group 1 respondents (21%) as a result of their lack of knowledge than Group 2 respondents (11.4%) who are well versed with the subjects of pharmacology.
CONCLUSION: It was observed that the prevalence of self-medication was more amongst the senior group of dental undergraduates, however the practice of the same is unsafe for both the groups and there should be more awareness amongst the dental school students to curtail the habit of self medication.