Pattern of Self Prescribed Analgesic Use in a Rural Area of Delhi: Exploring the Potential Role of Internet UC04-UC07
Dr. Anjali Kochhar,
C-102, Jamia Hamdard Campus, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi-110062, India.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction: Analgesics are the most common self prescribed drugs. Although considered to be relatively safe, side effects are often seen when these drugs are used for prolonged period, in high doses or used where contraindicated. Majority of the consumers are not aware of the side effects. These days ample amount of information is available on web, it is important to explore its role in educating the population regarding the safe use of self prescribed analgesics.
Aim: To explore pattern of analgesic use, to identify population at risk of developing side effects related to analgesic use, awareness of side effects and potential role of internet to bring awareness about safe use of self prescribed analgesic drugs in a rural area of Delhi.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey based study was done on 500 adults in the age group of 18-65 years of Madanpur Khadar area of South Delhi, India. Data collection was done by conducting visits to pharmacy shops from the people who were buying drugs without prescription and taking face to face interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive tests with Microsoft office excel 2007.
Results: Results of our study showed that among all the self prescribed analgesics paracetamol (57%) was used most frequently followed by aspirin and other NSAIDs. It was found that 9.6% of the consumers were having associated co-morbid illness, 11.4% were simultaneously taking other drugs and 15.2% were alcoholics. Majority (65.4%) of the buyers were not aware about any kind of side effects of the analgesics. Internet friendly consumers were found to be 44%. Ability to use internet and education level were found to be directly related (r=0.802).
Conclusion: The pattern of analgesic consumption in the rural population of Delhi shows that a large number of consumers may be at risk of developing side effects of self prescribed analgesics. The awareness about the side effects is limited. A significant number of consumers are internet friendly. Hence, we recommend use of website/mobile apps as potential source of information in educating the population regarding the use of self prescribed analgesics.