Knowledge of Non-Narcotic Analgesics and their Use among Non-Medical Students of the University of Lagos

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Oyerinde O. Opeoluwa
Akinola A. Alexander
Adepitan V. Kofoworola


Background: Analgesics are one of the most seriously abused over-the-counter drugs in Nigeria due to different misconceptions, lack of awareness etc. They are also readily available and accessible. The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge and describe the use of analgesics among undergraduates of the University of Lagos.  

Method: A cross-sectional survey of undergraduates of the University of Lagos, Akoka campus was done using a pretested questionnaire. The survey instrument comprised twenty-two questions in three sections of demographics, habits and knowledge. A total of 384 valid respondents were obtained across seven non-medical Faculties in the University. Stratified sampling technique was used to ensure that the sampling size in each Faculty is proportional to the Faculty population. Data was collated and analysed using SPSS 20. Descriptive analysis, student t-test, chi-square and Fishers exact tests were done as appropriate.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in use (χ=2.668, p> 0.05) and knowledge of analgesics (t= -1.104, p>0.05) between the male and female respondents. The most used painkiller was paracetamol (71.7%). Only about 23.4% of the respondents read the leaflets before using the drugs. About 45% of the respondents self-medicated with the analgesics based on the previous experiences they had. There was a statistically significant difference in the knowledge of pain killers across the five class levels with the 500 level students having the best knowledge. (F= 12.717, p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The knowledge of analgesics is very poor among non-medical students of the University of Lagos as majority of them do not have adequate knowledge of analgesics. Also, there is a lot of analgesic self-medication practice. There is a need to educate these students on the use of analgesics.

Article Details

How to Cite
O. Opeoluwa, O. ., A. Alexander, A. ., & V. Kofoworola, A. (2016). Knowledge of Non-Narcotic Analgesics and their Use among Non-Medical Students of the University of Lagos. The Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy, 50(2). Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Oyerinde O. Opeoluwa, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy,

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Akinola A. Alexander, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy,

Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Nigeria.

Adepitan V. Kofoworola, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control,

Lagos, Nigeria


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