Evaluation of the extent and pattern of use of herbal bitters among students in a tertiary institution in Southwestern Nigeria
Purpose: To evaluate the extent and pattern of use of herbal bitters among students.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study where pre-tested structured questionnaires were administered to 1000 students. The questionnaire elicited information on the extent and pattern of use, self-reported indications, side effects experienced and possible drugs that were concomitantly coadministered with herbal bitters. Pearson Chi square, Fisher exact test and Relative risk ratio were used to detect association between gender and self-reported indications and side effects experienced with herbal bitters at a level of significance of p < 0.05.
Results: The response rate and extent of use were 96 % and 40.9 % respectively. Herbal bitters were used for claims such as cleansers 88 (40.2 %), anti-infectives 48 (21.1 %), for rejuvenation 32 (14.0 %), and for weight loss 14 (6.1 %). Self-reported side effects included dizziness 49 (22.0 %), loss of taste 46 (20.6 %) and nausea and vomiting 22 (9.7 %). Herbal bitters were also co-administered with antimalarials 22 (6.3 %); analgesics 16 (4.5 %) and herbal supplements 13 (3.7 %). Reports of students using two different types of herbal bitter concurrently 15 (3.9 %) were also garnered. Male students experienced more side effects than females (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The co-administration of herbal bitters with allopathic medicines and the use of more than one herbal bitter at a time reported in this study can be addressed by the appropriate health authorities through proper educational programme.
Keywords: Herbal bitters, Allopathic medicines, Students, Advertisement, Nigeria
Submission of a manuscript to this journal is a representation that the manuscript has not been published previously and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
All authors named in each manuscript would be required to sign a form (to be supplied by the Editor) so that they may retain their copyright in the article but to assign to us (the Publishers) and its licensees in perpetuity, in all forms, formats and media (whether known or created in the future) to (i) publish, reproduce, distribute, display and store the contribution, (ii) translate the contribution into other languages, create adaptations, reprints, include within collections and create summaries, extracts and/or abstracts of the contribution, (iii) create any other derivative works(s) based on the contribution, (iv) to exploit all subsidiary rights in the contribution, (v) the inclusion of electronic links from the contribution to third party material where-ever it may be located, and (vi) license any thrid party to do any or all of the above.