Self-prescription of Paracetamol by Medical and Science Students at a Public University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Background: Paracetamol is a pharmacological drug and is one of the most commonly used drugs in self-prescribing situations frequently practiced among university students worldwide. Inappropriate self-medication may lead to harm. Thus, this study aimed to measure the prevalence of self-prescription of paracetamol consumption among undergraduate medical and science students at Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2020. Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted among students of science and medical colleges of IMSIU located in the city of Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. It was designed in the form of an online self-administered questionnaire (survey) via google form about the self-prescription of Paracetamol. The duration of the study was three months, i.e., September 2020-November 2020. Results: Three hundred twenty-three (323) students have completed the survey. The majority of them were female. The responses were 141 from medical students and 182 from science students. The prevalence of self-prescription of Paracetamol is seen among 58.8% of the participated students. The study showed that the prevalence of self-prescribed paracetamol was high among medical students (63.1%) compared with science students (55.5%). Conclusion: Self-prescription of paracetamol by medical and science students at IMSIU is high, especially among medical students. Although the students exhibited some awareness of self-medication, the findings in this study highlight the need for intervention programs to reduce the consumption of paracetamol and bring awareness to self-medication.