Prevalence and predictors of self-medication practices in the population of Saudi Arabia: systematic review
A review on practices of self-prescription among Saudi Arabian residents with a thorough understanding of the burden, type of medications, and causes for medicating themselves were conducted. A wide range of electronic bibliographic databases such as PubMed, Embase, and ERIC was searched. 15 full-text studies which measured the prevalence of self-medication across different areas of Saudi Arabia from 2005 to 2020 were incorporated in the review.
There was a broad difference in the frequency of self-medication practices with a minimum of 11.4% to a maximum of 93.1%. The highest prevalence of self-medication practices was reported by Alzaharni et al., 2015 and the lowest was reported by Makeen et al., 2019. All of the studies assessed the self-medication practices for antibiotics except few studies that also evaluated analgesics, antipyretics, antihistamines, and herbs. Reasons for self-medication included age, lack of knowledge about adverse effects, advice by a friend, the shortest distance from pharmacies to homes, young age, dissatisfaction with health care system, minor ailments or symptoms, difficulty in obtaining medical help, lack of time, and wrong perception about the efficacy of antibiotics in treating infections. This review demonstrates a greater prevalence of self-medication in Saudi Arabia, which calls for urgent actions by health authorities. The technology could be used to deliver prescriptions from doctors to dispensing chemists centered on which supply would happen to customers. The approach can restrict the salvage of prescription and will assist to save the data, which regulatory authorities of the drug can scrutinize and review.
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