Document Type : Research Article
Background: Self-medication for primary dysmenorrhea is common with an incidence of 38–80% due to easy accessibility to over-the-counter drugs. The present study was conducted to assess pattern of self- medication in primary dysmenorrhea in medical and nursing students.
Materials & Methods: 350 medical and nursing under-graduate students were enrolled. Parameters such as regularity of menstrual cycle, duration of menstrual discomfort, symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea, severity of pain assessment, self-medication used to relieve pain and awareness of self-medication was recorded.
Results: Out of 350 subjects, 190 were medical and 160 were nursing students. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). Among 190 medical students, 120 and among 160 nursing students, 75 showed self- medication. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). Medication used by medical and nursing students was mefenamic acid in 45% and 25%, paracetamol in 12% and 30%, ibuprofen in 13% and 5%, mefenamic acid+ dicyclomine in 12% and 13%, diclofenac in 8% and 12% and others in 10% and 15% respectively. The difference was significant (P< 0.05). Pain length was 1-2 days seen in 40%, 2-3 days in 35% and entire period in 25%. Pain intensity was mild in 12%, moderate in 52% and severe in 36%. Menstrual symptoms was seen in 67%. Frequency of dysmenorrhea occurrence was more frequently (every month) in 55% and less frequently (once in 3 month) in 45%. The difference was significant (P< 0.05).
Conclusion: There was high prevalence of self- medication among medical and nursing students. Commonly used drug were mefenamic acid and paracetamol.