A study on over-the-counter drug use in community pharmacies
Keywords:OTC drugs, Community pharmacy, Rational drug usage
Background: The usage of over-the-counter (OTC) medications has steadily increased in recent years. Improper use of OTC medications might result in health and other drug-related issues. Easy access to OTC medications has become a more critical concern in developing countries. Objective of the study was to assess the OTC drugs dispensed in community pharmacies.
Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted in selected community pharmacies. To evaluate the OTC drugs dispensed; 700 participants were polled using questionnaires through a validated data collection form, and a patient interview respectively. Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were performed using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) (version 20). The Chi-square test was used to test for significant differences between groups (p<0.05).
Results: A total of 700 patients were recruited for the study to assess the use of OTC drugs. Analgesics/NSAIDs are the most often used OTC medications, accounting for (30.4%), followed by antacids (15.7%). The primary sources of information to purchase OTC medications were taken from community phapharmacists1.6%). Recurrence of minor ailments (68%) is the major influencing factor for OTC drug purchase, whereas (80.9%) agree that OTC medication is cheaper and more convenient.
Conclusions: As per the findings of the study; OTC medication dispensing is prominent, and there is a need for awareness programs to ensure rational drug usage.
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