Knowledge and Practice of Self-medication among Undergraduate Medical Students

  • Anishma Karmacharya Lumbini Medical College
  • Bipashwi Nath Uprety Patan Academy of Health Sciences
  • Ravi Shankar Pathiyil American International Medical University
  • Sudesh Gyawali Manipal College of Medical Sciences
Keywords: knowledge, medical students, Nepal, practice, self medication


Introduction: Self-medication is an important aspect of self-care. It is a common practice in society and medical students are no exception. The aim of this study was to explore the knowledge and practice of self-medication among students of a medical school in Western Nepal.

Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among basic science and clinical students after obtaining prior consent from those willing to participate. Respondents’ degree of agreement with a set of 25 statements was noted using Likert scale to assess their knowledge. The practice of self-medication was studied by asking about the use of selected groups of medicines during the past one-year period and noting the pattern of use.

Results: Three hundred and thirty of the 356 students (92.6%) participated in the study. Mean knowledge score was 93.2 (SD = 8.1). Self-medication was practiced by 83.3% (n = 275) of respondents. Knowledge about self-medication differed among respondents according to gender (p = 0.03) and nationality (p = 0.04) but not other variables. Practice of self-medication was associated with father’s profession (p = 0.03) and nationality of the respondents (p = 0.04).

Conclusions: Students’ knowledge about self-medication was good and they commonly practiced self-medication. Pain-killers were the most commonly used drug.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Anishma Karmacharya, Lumbini Medical College


Department of Pharmacology

Bipashwi Nath Uprety, Patan Academy of Health Sciences


Department of Pharmacology

Ravi Shankar Pathiyil, American International Medical University


Department of Pharmacology

Sudesh Gyawali, Manipal College of Medical Sciences

Associate Professor,

Department of Pharmacology


Gyawali S, Shankar PR, Poudel PP, Saha A. Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Self-Medication Among Basic Science Undergraduate Medical Students in a Medical School in Western Nepal. J Clin Diagn Res. 2015;9:17-22. PMID: 26816912 DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2015/16553.6988

Fourth WHO Consultative Group on the Role of the Pharmacist. The role of the pharmacist in self-care and self-medication. Hague, The Netherlands: Department of Essential Drugs and Other Medicines World Health Organization; 1998. 17p. Publisher Full Text

Mehta RK, Sharma S. Knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among medical students. IOSR J Nurs Health Sci. 2015;4(1):89-96. Publisher Full Text

Shankar PR, Partha P, Shenoy N. Self‐medication and non-doctor prescription practices in Pokhara valley, Western Nepal: a questionnaire‐based study. BMC Fam Pract. 2002;3:17. PMID: 12236905 DOI: 10.1186/1471-2296-3-17

Shankar PR, Dubey AK, Dwivedi NR, Nandy A, Barton B. Knowledge, perception and practice of self-medication among premedical and basic science undergraduate medical students. Asian J of Med Sci. 2016;7(6):65-68. DOI: 10.3126/ajms.v7i6.15246

James H, Handu SS, Al Khaja KA, Otoom S, Sequeira RP. Evaluation of the knowledge, attitude and practice of self-medication among first-year medical students. Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(4):270-275. PMID: 16763393 DOI: 10.1159/000092989

Sontakke SD, Bajait CS, Pimpalkhute SA, Jaiswal KM, Jaiswal SR. Comparative study of evaluation of self-medication practices in first and third year medical students. Int J Biol Med Res. 2011;2:561-564. Publisher Full Text

Martins AP, Miranda AC, Mendes Z, Soares MA, Ferreira P, Nogueira A. Self-medication in a Portuguese urban population: a prevalence study. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2002;11:409-414. PMID: 12271884 DOI: 10.1002/pds.711

Badiger S, Kundapur R, Jain A, Kumar A, Pattanshetty S, Thakolkaran N, et al. Self-medication patterns among medical students in South India. Australas Med J. 2012;5(4):217-220. PMID: 22848313

Pandya RN, Jhaveri KS, Vyas FI, Patel VJ. Prevalence, pattern and perceptions of self-medication in medical students. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2013;2(3):275-280. DOI: 10.5455/2319-2003.ijbcp20130608

Lukovic JA, Miletic V, Pekmezovic T, Trajkovic G, Ratkovic N, Aleksic D, et al. Self-medication practices and risk factors for self-medication among medical students in Belgrade, Serbia. PLoS One. 2014;9(12):e114644. DOI: 10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0114644

Banerjee I, Bhadury T. Self-medication practice among undergraduate medical students in a tertiary care medical college, West Bengal. J Postgrad Med. 2012;58:127-131. PMID: 22718057 DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.97175

Klemenc-Ketis Z, Hladnik Z, Kersnik J. Self-medication among healthcare and non-healthcare students at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Med Princ Pract. 2010;19:395-401. PMID: 20639665 DOI: 10.1159/000316380

Patil SB, Vardhamane SH, Patil BV, Jeevangi SK, Binjawadgi AS, Kanaki AR. Self-mediciation practice and perception among undergraduate medical students: A cross-sectional study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8(12):20-23. PMID: 25653969 DOI: 10.7860/JCDR/2014/10579.5313

Vedrana AV, Vladimir T, Zdravko L. Content of home pharmacies and self-medication practices in households of pharmacy and medical students in Zagreb, Croatia: findings in 2001 with a reference to 1977. Croat Med J. 2005; 46:74-80. PMID: 15726679

How to Cite
Karmacharya A, Uprety B, Pathiyil R, Gyawali S. Knowledge and Practice of Self-medication among Undergraduate Medical Students. J Lumbini Med Coll [Internet]. 13May2018 [cited 6Jun.2020];6(1):21 -26. Available from:
Original Research Article