Misuse of some OTC analgesics in Abuja, Nigeria

  • Jill I Okpalugo
  • US Inyang
  • K Ibrahim
  • Chinwe V Ukwe
  • NC Aguwa

Abstract

The policy of permitting self-care of minor illnesses often results in misuse/abuse of drugs in Nigeria. This study examines the scope of misuse/abuse of some over-the-counter (OTC) analgesics by people treating pains of minor illnesses. Randomly selected adults presenting at community pharmacies, government hospitals and clinics with pains of minor illnesses were involved in a cross-sectional survey using self-administered questionnaires and personal structured interviews. The generated data was entered into SPSS 10.0 for Windows for statistical analysis. There was strong correlation between socio-demographics and analgesics misuse/abuse. Some 411(20.65%) respondents on acetaminophen and ibuprofen exceeded the maximum dose per day, while 606(30.45%) suffered adverse drug events (ADEs) resulting from drug overdose. About 507(25.48%) respondents used analgesics once daily, 355(17.84%) twice daily and 293(14.72%) thrice daily; 319(16.03%) of whom were combined analgesic misusers/abusers. Although 201(10.1%) respondents agreed that analgesic misuse/abuse was risky, 1314(66.03%) were not aware of the risks involved. About 67(33.33%) respondents remained indifferent and 569(28.59%) took analgesics for ailments unrelated to their indications. The status of most OTC analgesics should be changed to prescription only medications (POMs) sold in pharmacies rather than retail outlets. The public is strongly encouraged to seek non-pharmacological methods of pain relief before using analgesics.

Keywords: Medicine, drugs, over-the-counter analgesics, illnesses, pain, Nigeria

International Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences, 6(1): 125-130, 2010

Author Biographies

Jill I Okpalugo
Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), PMB 21, Idu Industrial Area, Abuja, Nigeria
US Inyang
Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), PMB 21, Idu Industrial Area, Abuja, Nigeria
K Ibrahim
Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), PMB 21, Idu Industrial Area, Abuja, Nigeria
Chinwe V Ukwe
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
NC Aguwa
Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
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