Prevalence, sources and purpose of self-prescribed non-opioid analgesic among health professionals in Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria: a cause for concern
Curr Issues Pharm Med Sci., Vol. 31, No. 1, 13-17
Catherine Fidelis1,2, Kehinde Kazeem Kanmodi2,3, Johnson Olajolumo4
Background. Self-medication is defined as the use of medicines without a doctor’s prescription. The non-opioid analgesics (NOAs) constitute one of the most commonly self-prescribed drugs globally. This study aims to determine the prevalence of NOAs self-medication, and also explore the purpose and sources of the self-prescribed NOAs among health professionals in Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria.
Methods. Data obtained from a cross-section of 205 health professionals in Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria, were used for this study. The study tool used was a well-structured questionnaire. Data analysis was done using the SPSS version 20 software.
Results. Only 36.6% of the 205 subjects were within the age range of 26 to 30 years, 38.0% were nurses. The majority (85.9%) of the subjects had self-prescribed NOAs, of which 6.8% of them had a positive history treatment for NOA overdose. Patent medicine stores (43.0%) were reported to be the most common source of acquisition of self-prescribed NOAs. The majority (63.9%) of the subjects used NOAs to get relieved from headaches. Paracetamol (79.0%) and Diclofenac (65.9%) were the top two self-prescribed NOAs among the subjects.
Conclusion. Non-opioid analgesic self-prescription is a popular practice among health professionals in Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria. All the various routes of access (e.g. hospital pharmacy) to NOAs need to be revisited in order to curb the irrational use of NOAs in Nigerian society.