Self-medication practice among adults in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Fakeeh College for Medical Sciences, Saudi Arabia
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt
Submission date: 2023-05-07
Final revision date: 2023-08-28
Acceptance date: 2023-10-02
Publication date: 2023-10-16
Corresponding author
Suzan Awad AbdelGhany Morsy   

Fakeeh College for Medical Sciences, Jeddha, Saudi Arabia
Arch Med Sci Civil Dis 2023;8(1):38-46
Self-medication (SM) is defined as drug utilization based on a patient’s self-diagnosis, without consultation of any healthcare members. Despite being common among most communities, it carries a risk of medication errors. The current study aimed to assess the prevalence, awareness, and practices related to SM, including risky practices among adults in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Material and methods:
A cross-sectional survey-based study was conducted in Jeddah KSA. The sample size was 312 participants (as calculated by using the Epi-info CDC software calculator). They were recruited by volunteer sampling technique, through online propagation of a questionnaire, which was designed and assessed for validity and reliability. It was composed of 3 sections: demographics, assessment of awareness, and practices related to SM, including risky practices. Data were analysed using IBM SPSS-25.

SM was practiced by 83% of the studied population. The prevalence of excellent, fair, and poor levels of awareness about SM were 12.4%, 45.6%, and 42%, respectively. Risky practices like using expired SMs, using SMs without checking expiry dates or without reading the instructions, using SMs during pregnancy or lactation, and continued use of SMs despite lack of improvement were identified among 5%, 12%, 39%, 11%, and 33% of participants, respectively.

An inappropriate level of awareness and a high prevalence of risky practices related to SM were identified among the studied sample of adults in KSA. It is critical to raise public awareness of SM to avoid SM-related health concerns.

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