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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3006

Authors: Tenaw, Andualem Tadege
Advisors: Professor Tsige Gebre-Mariam
Copyright: Jun-2002
Date Added: 11-May-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: Background: Health and disease exist in a continuum. Self-care is as old as illness if not as humans. Self-care is a lay behavioural response of individuals to promote or restore their health. One form of self-care is self-medication. Drugs are central to self-medication. Although there are arguments for and against self-medication, its contribution to promote health, and prevent and treat diseases is beyond doubt. Self-medication is the selection and use of medicines by individuals to treat self-recognized illnesses or symptoms of illnesses. Socio-demographic and socio-economic variables affect self-medication. In this study, an attempt has been made to assess self-medication practices with modern drugs and consumers drug knowledge in Addis Ababa. Methods: A multi-stage stratified sampling of drug retail outlets and drug consumers (actual drug users and messengers) was designed and used. Structured questionnaires to assess prospective self-medication practices and consumers drug knowledge were employed. The data was analyzed using Epi Info Software. Results and Discussion: The respondents represented all socio-demographic characteristics such as age and gender (the proportion of males was twice that of females); education levels and occupation; religion (the majority being Orthodox Christians) as well as pregnant and breast-feeding women. The most frequently reported illnesses that prompted drug consumers for self-medication were found to be gastrointestinal (GI) diseases, headache/fever and respiratory tract infections (RTIs). More than 30% of illnesses/symptoms of illnesses were of less than 24 hours duration and more than 40% between one and seven days. The most common reasons for self-diagnosis and self-medication were non-seriousness of the diseases and prior experience about the drugs. More than 50% of the drug consumers requested drugs x by specifically mentioning the names of the drugs and one-fifth of them by telling their illnesses/symptoms of illnesses. The most frequently requested category of drugs were analgesics/antipyretics (more than 30%), antimicrobials (more than 25%) and gastrointestinal drugs (more than 17%). Assessment of drug knowledge revealed that drug consumers know not only the names of OTC drugs but also other potent drugs, indicating widespread use of the latter. For example, among the top fifteen frequently recalled drugs five were antimicrobials. Drug consumers had also some dosage form preferences, the highest being injections and tablets for messengers and for actual drug users, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that there is association between illness/symptoms of illness with the duration of illness and source of advice/information for self-medication (p value less than 0.05). Strong association (p value = 0.0000) was observed between the source of advice/information and the frequently requested category of drugs, some socio-demographic variables with sources of advice/information, knowledge of drugs, and the frequently requested category of drugs. Conclusion: Self-medication is widely practiced by all categories of respondents for a wide range of illnesses/symptoms of illnesses. More than 100 different types of drugs were used for self-medication. Although there is some apparent consumers drug knowledge, it is suggested that the public has to be educated on the type of illnesses to be self-diagnosed and the type of drugs to be self-medicated. It is only then that responsible self-medication prevails to promote health and prevent/ treat illnesses.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/3006
Appears in:Thesis - Pharmaceutics

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