Self-medication practices among Malaysian older adults during the COVID-19 pandemic

Muhammad Eid Akkawi, Mohamed Hassan Elnaem, Abdul Rahman Fata Nahas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective. To assess the prevalence, patterns, and associated factors of self-medication among Malaysian older adults, and to investigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on self-medication.

Methods: Between January and June 2021, Malaysian older adults aged ≥60 years were invited to participate in this cross-sectional study. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess self-medication knowledge, perceptions, and practices before and during the pandemic.

Results: Of 170 participants, 122 (71.8%) reported self-medication. Common reasons for self-medication were a perception that the condition was minor and previous experience with the same problem. The main symptoms managed by self-medication were sore throat (56.9%), fever (56%), and headache (53.2%). The most commonly used medications were paracetamol (79.8%), analgesic patches (52.3%), and cough medications (47.7%). Most participants were unaware of possible drug-drug/drug-food interactions involving their medications. 33.6% of participants changed their self-medication practices during the pandemic; 65% of them consumed more vitamins and supplements to boost their health.

Conclusion: Self-medication for minor ailments is prevalent among Malaysian older adults. Analgesics were the most commonly used medication. 33.6% of participants modified their self-medication practices during the COVID-19 pandemic; 65% of them consumed more vitamins and supplements to boost their health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalAsian Journal of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume18
Issue number1
Early online date26 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished online - 26 Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a research management centre grant from International Islamic University Malaysia (RC-RIGS20-006-0006).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Hong Kong Geriatrics Society and Hong Kong Association of Gerontology. CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Keywords

  • Aged
  • COVID-19
  • Malaysia
  • Self medication

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