Awareness and Frequency of using Lifestyle Medications among University Students in Kurdistan Region-Iraq
Life style medications (LSMs) are used for improvement of lifestyle of an individual. These drugs are being taken to modify a non-medical or non-health-related purpose. This study aimed to investigate the extent of use of LSMs among university students, motives for using them, and identify the types, adverse effects to provide helpful information for justification and prevention of this phenomenon. A descriptive observational cross-sectional study was conducted. A questionnaire was designed to target undergraduate medical and pharmacy students at the three universities of Sulaimani (UOS), Hawler Medical University (HMU), and University of Duhok (UOD) in Sulaimani, Hawler, and Duhok Cities-Kurdistan Region-Iraq respectively. Student knowledge, awareness of the use of LSMs, motives for using these medications were assessed by addressing these issues in different sections of the questionnaires. Number of respondents was 209. Number of students who were using LSMs was 149 (71.3%) while 60 (28.7%) was not using LSMs at all. The source of information on LSMs among those who had aware of using LSMs was advertisement 25(12%), family 28(13.4%), friends 51(24.4%), medical needs 51(24.4%), internet 115(55%) and pharmacy 4(1.9%). The most frequent agent that has been used by the highest number of the students was caffeine 71(47.7%), followed by dietary supplement 63(42.3%) then cosmetics 48(32.2%). 135 (64.6%) students did not agree on the prevention of the use of LSMs, while the rest 74 (35.4%) encouraged the prevention of LSMs intake by providing many strategies to prevent this phenomenon. In conclusion, prevalence of using LSMs among university students is high and tendency for medicalization of healthy individuals in the aim of better academic performance and improve quality of life is increasing. The prevention of LSMs intake by providing many strategies to prevent this phenomenon was raised by 74 (35.4%) of the participants.
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