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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 51-56

Self-medication during the COVID-19 pandemic: Prevalence, pattern and risk factors amongst residents in a semi-urban Nigerian community


1 Department of Internal Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka; Department of Internal Medicine, Nephrology Unit, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Delta State, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Delta State University, Abraka; Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology Unit, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Delta State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Delta State University, Abraka; Department of Community Medicine, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Delta State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. O C Okoye
Department of Internal Medicine, Nephrology Unit, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara, Delta State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/njhs.njhs_50_20

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Context: The lack of proven treatment for COVID-19 compounded by limitless information on supposed useful remedies has led to a surge in self-medication (SM). A Google Trends search showed that the search for SM and related terms increased during the current pandemic. Aims: The main aims of this study were to explore the prevalence, patterns and determinants of SM amongst residents in an Semi-urban community located in Southern Nigeria, during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Settings and Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a semi-urban Nigerian community from April to June 2020. Subjects and Methods: The stratified sampling method was used to select 384 study participants from the five wards in the community. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain socio-demographic data, psychographic information and history of SM since the onset of the pandemic. Statistical Analysis Used: The statistical analysis used was SPSS 22.0 (IBM SPSS Statistics, New York, USA). Results: The overall prevalence of SM was 25.5%; of these, 8.2% self-medicated for prevention or treatment of COVID-19 infection. Chloroquine (CQ) tablets were ingested by 46.6% of those who self-medicated. Those in Class I occupational level had five times the odds of self-medicating compared to those in Class V (P = 0.035). Conclusions: A quarter of the respondents practised SM during the COVID-19 pandemic; one-third of these self-medicated to prevent or treat COVID-19. The most frequent drug used for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 was CQ. Higher income and occupational level were associated with SM.


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