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Self-medication and its associated factors among pharmacy students of Madonna University, Elele
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The purpose of this study was to assess self-medication and its associated factors among pharmacy students of Madonna University, Elele, Rivers State. In a cross-sectional survey that used questionnaire as the instrument for data collection, a random sample of 180 pharmacy students were adopted for the study, which achieved a response rate of 90% representing 162 retrieved questionnaires. The results showed a high rate of self-medication or self-prescription among pharmacists and physicians. Whilst professional exposure to drugs and knowledge of their treatment of disease remains the fundamental contributor to self-medication among the students, the peculiar demands of their learning and training environment including, excessive study schedules, issues of confidentiality as well as inadequate health care provision for these students are factors that further worsen the situation. The study found that the higher the practice experience of these students, the higher the tendency to self medicate. The three most commonly abused categories of drugs include analgesics, antimalarials and antibiotics. The problem of self-medication among pharmacy students has implications including legal, health and negative effects on the patient and on the quality of health delivery as a whole. It is recommended that pharmacy students must accept to enter the patient role and to present themselves as patients, that they must be given orientation on the consequences of self-medication before they go in to practice. It is further recommended that students must understand, accept, uphold and defend the tenets of their own professions by avoiding self-medication and that hospital authorities endeavor to provide well-motivated, congenial and improved health care services for health personnel.
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