Practice of Self Medication for Dental Ailments among Patients Attending Dental OPDs in Karachi, Pakistan

Dr Uzma Zareef*, Dr Aroosa Naj


To determine the prevalence of self-medication for dental problems and its associated factors among patients visiting dental outpatient departments (OPDs) of Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) and Liaquat College of Medicine and Dentistry (LCMD). This includes the commonly used drugs, their duration, dosage and side effects, also to determine the reasons for self-medication and to educate them about its consequences. Self-medication may be defined as the inappropriate use of drugs without doctor’s prescription for previous or self-diagnosed diseases. It is a common practice among dental patients all over the world. A cross sectional survey was carried out among patients attending the dental outpatient departments of LCMD and KMDC, Karachi, Pakistan from June 2017 to October 2017. The non-probability convenient sampling technique was used and data was stored and analysed using IBM-SPPS version 23.0. The survey was carried out among 160 patients attending dental OPDs, out of which 69.9% patients acquiesced that they are involved in self-medication practices. Commonly consumed drugs for self-medication were pain killers (analgesics) in females 78% and in males 63.3% and antibiotics 6.7% in males and 5.0% in females. Survey showed that 51.4% admitted that they have had adverse effects while taking self-medications. Comparison between pre and post counselling regarding the perception of self- medication was also done. Before counselling (20.9%) patients considered it to be a good practice while (33.3%) disagreed. Although after counselling, there was an increase of up to 47% in patients considering selfmedication as an unacceptable form of treatment. There is a high prevalence of self-medication practice for dental problems among patients attending dental OPDS of KMDC and LCMD despite having awareness of its adverse effects. With higher frequencies in females but practice is common in both upper and lower social classes. Analgesics, usually Panadol are most commonly consumed.

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