Assessment of the Knowledge of Community Pharmacists Regarding Common Phytopharmaceuticals Sold in South Western Nigeria
Purpose: The study was carried out to assess the knowledge of community pharmacists who sell herbal/phytopharmaceutical formulations in pharmacy retail outlets.
Method: Questionnaires were administered to the pharmacists to gather information on phytopharmaceuticals regarding their use, side effects, potential drug-herb interactions and contraindications of the phytopharmaceuticals sold in their retail outlets. Opinions on regulation, safety and efficacy of herbal remedies were also obtained. Descriptive statistical tests and median scores were used to evaluate the distribution of responses, opinions and perception of the pharmacists on their level of knowledge of the phytopharmaceuticals, and effects of demographic data on the pharmacists' knowledge of the herbal remedies.
Results: The study revealed that 31 (62%) sold imported herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. Seventy-two (72) % had received no postgraduate training on herbal medications. Most of the community pharmacists agreed that they did not possess adequate knowledge of potential interaction profiles and side effects of the herbal remedies sold. The training in pharmacy schools on herbal drugs and sale of phytopharmaceuticals in their outlets also had no influence (p>0.05) on desired knowledge. Community pharmacists with less than 10 years of experience in the practice however possessed better knowledge than pharmacists with more than ten years of professional practice (p=0.05)
Conclusions: There was gross inadequacy in the pharmacists' knowledge of the phytopharmaceuticals sold in pharmacies indicating an urgent need for intensive training in order to render better services to their clients.
Keywords: Community Pharmacists, Herbal formulations/Phytopharmaceuticals, Knowledge base, Pharmacology
> Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research Vol. 5 (2) 2006: pp. 619-625