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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 112-117

Prevalence and patterns of self-medication during COVID-19 pandemic amongst pharmacy students in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Cross-sectional study

King Abdulaziz University-Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice Department, P.O. Box 80260, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Aisha F Badr
King Abdulaziz University, Faculty of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Practice Department, P.O. Box 80260, Jeddah 21589
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjcp.sjcp_6_22

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Objective: Self-medication prevalence and characteristics during the ongoing pandemic have been assessed and documented in some countries for COVID-19 treatment; little is known of this practice among pharmacy students who are estimated to have higher knowledge of medications and their use. This study aims to assess self-medication prevalence and pattern during COVID-19 pandemic in this population. Materials and Methods: following IRB approval, a descriptive, cross-sectional study was implemented, and a survey link was distributed among pharmacy students enrolled at King Abdulaziz University, from 1/1/2021 to 17/2/2021. Questionnaire items included (1) students’ demographic, (2) self-medication prevalence during the pandemic, (3) medications, vitamins and supplements used (pre and post infection), (4) source of information, and (5) how long they used the medication for. Results: A total of 270 students completed the survey (39.9% response rate). Majority were between 21–23 years of age (63.7%), female (70%), and single (97%). A total of 149 (55.2%) students practiced self-medication during COVID-19 pandemic. Most used supplements were vitamin C (38.9%), followed by multivitamins (22.2%) and vitamin D (18.1%). Most used OTC medication was paracetamol (26.3%) whereas, most prescription medication used was anxiolytics (4.8%), and antibiotics (3.3%). Most relied on personal knowledge for their practice (77.18%) and continued taking the supplement for less than a month (56%). Moreover, 9.3% (n = 25) were tested positive for COVID-19 and self-medicated with: vitamin C 44% (n = 11), zinc 24% (n = 6), and aspirin 12% (n = 3). Conclusion: Although most used supplements and OTC medications during the pandemic; there was a minority who did use prescription medications, such as anxiolytics, antibiotics and antidepressants which raise concerns over their unattended use and mandate awareness of risks associated with these medications.

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