Over the counter medications-An assessment of their safety and use

Monika Joshi, Ravi Shankar

Abstract


Over the counter drug means a drug that is sold without a prescription. The use
of over the counter drugs is growing rapidly in India. Therefore a study was
conducted with aim to determine the prevalence of over the counter
medications in students of pharmacy colleges in eastern Uttar Pradesh and to
access patients' perceived safety of these medications. A cross-sectional study
was designed; using a self-administered questionnaire for the students'
convenience and easy response disclosure. Data were statistically analyzed. A
total of N = 800 students participated in this survey. Ease in access to OTC
medicine, availability of pharmacist consultation and advertisement in print
and electronic media were the main factors disclosed by the respondents that
may result in an increase in the use of OTC products. The study revealed that
the use of OTC medications was high in the students. Gender, age and
educational institution were found significantly affecting the use of OTC
medicines. Use of OTC medicines was generally higher among female students
(p = 0.001). It was also found that the knowledge about adverse effects and
contraindications is very limited.


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