Background and aims: Self-medication, as the most common method of self-care, is one of the major problems in treatment in many countries in the world. The present study was designed to determine the prevalence of self-medication and identify the factors associated with casual medication use among students of Larestan University of Medical Sciences in Iran in 2020.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study conducted in 2020. The study was conducted at Larestan University of Medical Sciences and 147 students entered the study through convenience sampling. The data collection tool was a researcher-made self-treatment questionnaire. After collecting the data, the SPSS software version 25.0 was used to analyze the data. Fisher’s exact test, independent t test, and chi-square test were used to investigate the relationship between the variables. A P value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The prevalence of self-medication was 62.5%. The most common sources of self-medication were pharmacies and previous prescriptions. The most common illnesses treated with over-the-counter medications include colds, headaches, and digestive problems. The most important over-the-counter medications include painkillers, anti-colds, antibiotics, iron pills, calcium supplements, and antihistamines. A comparison of students’ attitudes towards medication showed that attitudes “I feel my problem has been treated with over-the-counter medications” and “I feel I have enough information about diseases and how to treat them” (the group who did have self-medication and the group who did not have self-medication) had a significant difference between the two groups (p <0.05).
Conclusion: The results of the present study showed a high prevalence of self-medication among students. We recommend holding special training classes for the communities in order to provide information about the irreparable effects of self-medication and create new policies for prescribing and delivering medicine.