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Self-medication practices among adult population attending community pharmacies in Malaysia: an exploratory study

  • Mohamed Azmi HassaliEmail author
  • Asrul Akmal Shafie
  • Harith Al-Qazaz
  • Jayabalan Tambyappa
  • Subish Palaian
  • Vidhya Hariraj
Research Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Adults Medication Pharmacist Self-medication 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank all the participants who provided their valuable responses in answering to the questionnaire.

Funding

None.

Conflicts of interest

None.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamed Azmi Hassali
    • 1
    Email author
  • Asrul Akmal Shafie
    • 1
  • Harith Al-Qazaz
    • 2
  • Jayabalan Tambyappa
    • 1
  • Subish Palaian
    • 1
  • Vidhya Hariraj
    • 2
  1. 1.Discipline of Social and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia
  2. 2.Discipline of Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversiti Sains MalaysiaMindenMalaysia

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