INTRODUCTION: Alternative Medicine refers to healing practices not typically used in conventional medicine and therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional allopathic medical practice. The World Health Organization estimates the prevalence of use of Nutritional Supplements and Alternative medicines among African countries to range between 20% and 80%. The objective of this study was to assess the level of use of alternative medicines and factors associated with use among working class population in an urban setting in North-Central Nigeria. METHODOLOGY: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study. The study population consisted of working-class adults in an urban setting in North-Central Nigeria. Multi-stage sampling technique was used to recruit 390 adults into the study. Data was collected from them using a self-administered structured questionnaire and analyzed using Epi-info statistical software. RESULTS: The mean age of the respondents was 34.38+9.03 years. Most of the respondents were males (66.6%); married (52.8%); had attained tertiary level of education (83.1%). The prevalence of the use of Alternative supplements and Medicines among the study population was 79.3% and it had a statistical association with respondents level of knowledge about alternative medicines (p = 0.0144) and highest level of education attained (p = 0.0429). The larger proportion of the studied subjects perceived alternative medicine to be more effective (47.9%) and safer (34.8%) than orthodox medicines although most of them (53.8%) would not prefer it as treatment over orthodox medication. CONCLUSION: There was a high prevalence of use of alternative medicines among working class people studied. There is therefore a need for better research into how to integrate its use with orthodox medicine and to ensure the safety and efficacy of the drugs and therapies in current use by relevant authorities.
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