Frequency of use of non-prescribed medication among population sample from Al Madina City and its impact on quality of care in Saudi Arabia
Objective: Self-medication can be defined as the practice of using drugs that have not been prescribed, recommended, or controlled by a certified health-care professional. This term can be used when discussing patients who use non-prescription medications to treat self-diagnosed disorders or symptoms, without consulting a medical practitioner and without any medical supervision. The objectives of this study are to identify patterns of self-medication in Saudi Arabia, to measure the association between gender and the use of non-prescribed medication, and to identify the type of medications involved, the dosages used, and patient’s sources of knowledge regarding the types, and doses of medications.
Method: Cross-section analytical observational study, conducted in Al Medina city, Saudi Arabia, over 6 months using a pretested self-administered questionnaire using a convenience sampling technique.
Results: With a response rate of 68.8%, it was found that 72.5% reported the use of non-prescribed medication and 24.3% reported a history of experiencing side effects from using non-prescribed medication with no significant difference between male and female. 81% were keen to read the medication instruction with higher response among females.Analgesics were the most common type of medication used with an 86.5% agreement with no statistical significant differences between male and females.
Conclusion: The study found heavy use of non-prescribed medication among the Al Medina residents sampled. This suggests a need for specialist training programs that could be directed at pharmacists, to help them disseminate information on the safe use of OTC or non-prescribed medications.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).