Self Medication among Dental Patients Visiting Tertiary Care Hospital, During COVID-19

Numrah Shakeel Malik1            BDS
Muhammad Umair2                   BDS, MCPS, ACMED
Iqraa Shakeel Malik3                 BDS, M.Phil



OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate trends in self-medication practices among dental patients during the period
of lockdown. Self-medication or using drugs without prescription of a doctor is a common practice round the world since a
long time. During lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic all the dental facilities were either closed or were only offering
emergency-treatments, therefore lack of services led general population to the practice of self-medication. This should be taken
in account for the health and safety of patients.
METHODOLOGY: A quantitative cross-sectional study was conducted among the dental OPD patients visiting a tertiary care
hospital post COVID-19 lockdown, from 20th September,2020 to 5th December 2020. Sample size was 451 and study participants
were selected by convenient sampling technique.
RESULTS: A total of 389 out of 451 patients self-medicated (383 females and 68 males). Most common reason was tooth ache
(56.8%) followed by sensitivity of teeth (37.5%) and dental trauma (3.8%) was the least common reason. Hence, Pain relievers
(68.5%) were used by most of the patients followed by antibiotics (35.5%). Prevalence was higher in patients of low socioeconomic
status. Most of the patients thought self-medication practice to be acceptable.
CONCLUSION: It was distressing that Self-medication practices among dental patients showed a remarkable increase during
period of COVID-19 Pandemic as most of them had practiced self-medication, most commonly for relief from toothache. This
issue, being a sensitive one needs to be given required consideration.
KEYWORDS: Self-medication, COVID-19, pandemic, Dental OPD, Pain relievers, Tooth ache.
HOW TO CITE: Malik NS, Umair M, Malik IS. Self Medication among dental patients visiting tertiary care hospital, during
COVID-19. J Pak Dent Assoc 2022;31(1):43-48.
Received: 05 May 2021, Accepted: 02 November 2021

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