Published: 2019-08-27

Study on usage of over the counter medication among college students in Telangana: a cross sectional study

Praveena Ganapa, Kishore Y. Jothula


Background: The use of over the counter medications (OTC) has been reported to be on rise internationally. The OTC drug market in India currently ranks 11th in the global OTC market. Since Indian patients have a huge tendency of self-treatment, the Indian market is characterized by a huge demand for OTC drugs. Hence the current study is undertaken to know the practices of over the counter medication among college students.

Methods: Institutional based cross sectional study carried out in Pharmacy College and all interested students were included with sample size of 141. Data was collected by interview method by using questionnaire. Results were presented in percentages using SPSS statistical package version 23.

Results: Subjects were opting for the over the counter medication. Most common drugs dispensed were cough remedies (52.4%) followed by antibiotics (38.2%). Most (47.5%) common source of medication was parents.

Conclusions: Majority of the students were opting for the over the counter medication and it is need of the hour to improve the knowledge regarding its adverse effects and about rationale use of drugs and drug resistance.


Over the counter medication, Students, Antibiotics, Drug resistance

Full Text:



Bhangale V. International Marketing Conference on Marketing and Society, IIMK; 2007: 397-402.

Cooper RJ. I can’t be an addict. I am. Over-the-counter medicine abuse: a qualitative study. BMJ Open. 2013;3(6):e002913.

Hall GC, Sauer B, Bourke A, Brown JS, Reynolds MW, LoCasale R. Guidelines for good database selection and use in pharmaco epidemiology research. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2012;21(1):1-10.

Rennie L, Porteous T, Ryan M. Preferences for managing symptoms of differing severity: a discrete choice experiment. Value Health. 2012;15:1069-76.

Porteous T, Ryan M, Bond CM, Hannaford P. Preferences for self-care or professional advice for minor illness: a discrete choice experiment. Br J Gen Pract. 2006;56:911-7.

Ahrnsbrak R, Bose J, Hedden SL, Lipari RN, Lee EP. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. HHS; 2017: 17-5044.

Shroti R, Nayak N, Rajput MS. A study on over the counter drugs in retail pharmacies in Indore city. Der Pharmacies Lettre. 2011;3(3):133-8.

Bertoldi AD, Camargo AC, Silveira MP, Menezes AM, Asscencao MC, Goncalves H, et al. Self-medication among adolescents aged 18 years: the 1993 pelotas (Brazil) Birth cohort study. J Adolesc Health. 2014;55(2):175-81.

Bentosch EG, Koester S, Martin AM. Intentional misuse of over the counter medication, mental Health and Polysubstance use in young adults. J community Health. 2014;39(4):688-95.

Nagaraj MS, Chakraborty A, Srinivas BN. A Study on the Dispensing Pattern of Over the Counter Drugs in Retail Pharmacies in Sarjapur Area, East Bangalore. J Cin Diagnos Res. 2015,9(6):FC11-3.

Gazibara T, Nurkovic S, Kisic-Tepavcevic D, Kurtagic I, Kovacevic N. Pharmacotherapy and over the counter drug use among elderly in Belgrade, Serbia. Geriatr Neurs. 2013;34(6):486-90.

Ngado TT, Chuc NT, Hoa NP, Nguyen NT, Loan HT, Toan TK, et al. Antibiotic sales in rural and urban pharmacies in northern Vietnman: an observational study. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol. 2014;15(1):6.

Abasaeed AE, Abuelkhair MA, Andrajati R, Elnour AA. A comparative study between prescribed and over the counter antibiotics. Saud Med J. 2013;34(10):1048-54.