EVALUATING KNOWLEDGE OF OVER THE COUNTER ANALGESICS AMONG BAHRAINI PEOPLE
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate awareness of Bahrainis regarding analgesics proper use, doses, side effects (SE), and sources of
Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of 100 Bahraini consumers aged 20 or more randomly selected. Using a self-administered questionnaire,
volunteers answered questions regarding purposes, doses, SE, and sources of information of over the counter (OTC) analgesics.
Results: Majority of respondents reported using OTC analgesics. Paracetamol reported mostly. Most common purpose of use was a headache, followed
by fever and flu pain. Analgesics improper use was reported by up to 27% of respondents. Although 60.6% were aware of gastrointestinal tract (GIT)
SE, 46.1% were not taking them after food. Patients' sources of information included physicians (38.2%), pharmacy personnel (27%), and friends/
relatives (28.1%). Although 70% reported reading analgesics package inserts, overdosing were notably reported (37%). A total of 32.6% referred
to anti-histamines for analgesia. Interestingly, 36% reported that they have not ever encountered SE and 32% tended to discontinue using their
analgesics if any is encountered.
Conclusion: Although analgesics are consumed enormously, paracetamol high consumption is attributed to its minimal SE. The reported correct use
of analgesics might be due to their wide prescribing for such conditions. Using antihistamines for analgesia can be anticipated to their sedative effects,
though this and some analgesics misuses can be attributed to the poor pharmacists' counseling.
Keywords: Acetylsalicylic acid, Analgesics, Aspirin, Awareness, Ibuprofen, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Over the counter, Paracetamol
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