Assessment of Self-medication Practices During COVID-19 Pandemic in Hyderabad and Karachi, Pakistan


Background: Lack of appropriate treatment for COVID-19 infection led the general population of Pakistan toward self-medication and symptomatic treatment; almost 80% of the population collected medications for future use during pandemic. Thus, the current study aimed to assess the use of medication as symptomatic treatment preventive strategy.

Methods: This descriptive cross–sectional study was conducted on a local population of Hyderabad and Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. The study duration was six months (April– September 2020). A total of 698 responders were selected via random sampling method. The number of participants were recruited based on 95% confidence interval with 5% margin error. Data were transferred into analysis sheet descriptively.

Results: Most participants responded to the use of different over-the-counter (OTC) products for headache. The use of antibiotics with prescription due to allergic conditions, cough, respiratory tract infections including sore throat, and urinary tract infections was also found among the majority. Few respondents had self-medication practice with sedatives due to difficulty in falling asleep, and 9.5% had self-medication practice due to pain. About 20.8% of the population agreed that lockdown was a contributing factor in the self-medication practice.

Conclusion: Pharmacists and healthcare professionals are advised to counsel the general public regarding the use of medication. A close collaboration is required at this stage to fight against COVID-19 and preventing the situation from worsening.

Keywords: self-medication, covid-19, Hyderabad, Karachi, Pakistan

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