PATTERNS AND EFFECTS SELF-MEDICATION IN NIGERIA
A REVIEW OF LITERATURE WITH COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PRACTICES IN SELECTED NATION STATES
This review paper examined the patterns and effects of Self-Medication in Nigeria and compared same with what is obtainable in others cultures. Anchored on symbolic interaction theory, the study relied on secondary sources of information and examined conceptual modes of self- medication, its extent of occurrence (prevalence) in Nigeria, risks associated with it, major illnesses or symptoms for which self-diagnosis and self-medication are adopted, drugs commonly used for self- medication among others .The review revealed that the risk of drug over dose is the major risk associated with self-medication. It was also evident in literature that the most common illness that self-medication was adopted was minor conditions like body pain, headache, fever, cough, menstrual pain and cold. It was also found that the sources of drug information and places of obtaining such drugs are from family/friends and patent medicine stores respectively. The review also revealed that people self-medicate because of availability and unrestrained accessibility to drugs, poverty, gender traits, and the information people get from family/friends concerning drugs and drug usage. The commonest drugs used for self-medication as documented by most scholars were anti malaria drugs. This review paper recommends that to control the practice of self-medication, drugs should not be sold over the counter without doctor’s prescription. Also, there is need for formulation of laws that prohibit the sale of drugs by drug hawkers. Furthermore, public enlightenment campaign on dangers of self-medication should be strengthened, while ensuring availability of drugs in all health centers in Nigeria at cheaper rates.