Aim: This study aims to evaluate the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and factors associated with this practice as well as drugrelated problems and self-medication by pharmacy students of University Center Catholic of Quixadá, Ceará, Brazil. Methods: The prospective study with a quantitative approach was conducted. The participants were 96 female pharmacy students, who answered an e-mail questionnaire containing questions regarding the main NSAIDs used, pre-menstrual and menstrual use, drug-related problems and self-medication. Results: The results showed that students >39 years and in the 1st year of graduation had the lowest rates of use of NSAIDs, 33.3% (p = 0.0005) and 77.7% (p = 0.01) respectively. The most commonly drug used were dipyrone (64.5%) and paracetamol (54.1%), mainly for painful processes such as headache (68.7%) and colic (62.5%). Self-medication was 92.7% those students, and the main side effects were nausea (14.5%) and heartburn (10.4%). There was greater use of anti-inflammatories among university students in the menstrual period, in those with irregular menstrual cycle and with a flow <7 days. Conclusion: In conclusion, NSAIDs are the most frequently used drugs among students of female pharmacy colleges for algic processes such as headache, menstrual cramps, migraine and others referred to as possible hormonal changes. High self-medication was observed, which leads to frequent gastrointestinal adverse effects. Studies are still needed to evaluate the possible impacts of the use of these drugs in the medium and long term in this population.
Key words: Pharmacy, Menstrual cycle, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Self-medication, Students.