Practice of self-medication among the adult population in the Municipal Corporation area of Siliguri, West Bengal, India
Keywords:Drugs, magnitude, self-medication, habit
Background: Self-medication is a major public health concern which has increased at the community level. It may lead to delay in diagnosis as well as care seeking. Present study was undertaken to find out the prevalence and pattern of self medication practices among adult population in an urban area of Siliguri Municipal Corporation area of West Bengal. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 110 adults in urban areas of Siliguri Municipal Corporation area by purposive sampling. Results: The prevalence of self-medication among urban adults was found to be 47.2%. More than 50% of the study subjects had symptoms like fever and headache for resorting medication by him. Common drugs were antipyretic or paracetamol (65.4%), antacid (50%), anti-inflammatory (44.2%) or anti-allergic (42.3%). Significant association was found between occupational status (engaged in unskilled work) and self-medication. Conclusion: Self-medication practices are a dual sword to manage time, relieve overburdened medical practice and increased resistance of pathogens due to delayed diagnosis etc. Health educational activities should be initiated to encourage common people in order to utilize health care services from government facilities which are now made at a subsidized cost.
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