Self-medication practices among adult population attending community pharmacies in Malaysia: an exploratory study
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Objective To assess the prevalence of self-medication among adults in an urban setting and to identify any factors contributing to self-medication in relation to consumer characteristics. Setting The study was carried out in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Methods A cross-sectional study using a self administered questionnaire including adults above 21 years old as an exit survey was conducted in Kuala Lumpur. Main outcome measures Number of medications taken in a day by participants, source of medication for the treatment of minor illnesses among participants, common illnesses chosen for self-medication by participants, and the sources of information of participants. Results Of 314 participants, 62.7% had taken at least one medication in the past week without prescription and 62.7% believed that over the counter medicines were just as effective as those prescribed by doctors. 69.4% would seek a healthcare professional’s advice before purchasing any medication and 86.9% would consult a pharmacist prior to buying medication from the pharmacy. Only 86% checked the expiry dates on medications and 54.5% reported keeping leftover medication. Conclusions Self-medication practice is prevalent in Kuala Lumpur but some practice might be harmful. Education on appropriate use of self-medication need to be emphasized in order to ensure quality use of medicines.
KeywordsAdults Medication Pharmacist Self-medication
The authors wish to thank all the participants who provided their valuable responses in answering to the questionnaire.
Conflicts of interest
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