Background: Self-medication is a widespread practice and it is referred to as the self-selection of medication by individuals, to treat self-recognized illnesses, without any consultation or prescription from a medical practitioner. Thus, tending to self-prescribe pain killers to overcome the sensation of pain, and avoid wasting time and money on medical consultation which might be of danger to their health. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the pattern, knowledge and determinants among undergraduate students at Birzeit University, Palestine, towards self-medication. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study on analgesics consumption was conducted among undergraduates in health professions students. A questionnaire was distributed to 284 selected students in order to collect information about different aspects of self-medication. Results: 78.1% of the study participants were against self-medication unless it is indicated or necessary. The most common reasons for self-medication were a headache for 70.8% of students. The analgesics and Non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs were the most commonly used medications, by 135 students (47.5%) and 113 others (39.8%) respectively. Whereas antibiotics were categorized as the third most commonly used type of drug. The pharmacist was the reliable source of information regarding self-medication. However, it is remarkably significant that as the years progress, the use of these drugs increases. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that self- medication practice is very common among health care professions students at Birzeit University. Commonly used drugs were analgesics, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics. The occurrence of self-medication practice among health professions students increased with year of progression in the school.
Key words: Analgesic, Awareness, Health Professions Students, Knowledge, Self-medication.