NON-PRESCRIPTION MEDICINE USAGE AMONG ADULT FEMALES IN TWO WESTERN CITIES, SAUDI ARABIA
Wedyan S. Almoshaddk and *Afaf M. Alshanqiti
Background: Several factors have been reported to influence the behavior of using non-prescribed medicines among adult females. Objectives: To provide an overview of the use of non-prescribed medications among adult female attending primary health care centers in two cities in Western Saudi Arabia (Jeddah and Makkah). Subjects and methods: This is a cross-sectional study conducted at two randomly selected primary health care centers belonging to Ministry of health, one in Jeddah city (Alzahra) and one in Makkah city (Alnaksah), Western Saudi Arabia. Adult female (aged over 18 year and below 60 years) who attended these two centers throughout the study period (October-November, 2015) constituted the target population for the study. A self-administered questionnaire was utilized. It consists of two parts. The first part contained questions on personal information of the respondents. The second part contained 4 questions on core issues of self-medication use such as names and sources of drugs used for self-medication, type of ailment treated through self-medication and factors influencing self-medication practices. Results: The study included 304 women More than half of them (55.3%) aged between 18 and 35 years. They were equally distributed between the two cities (Jeddah and Makkah). Most of the respondents 214 (70.4 %) were involved in self-medication practices. Majority of them obtained the non-prescribed drugs from private hospitals (86.9%) whereas 10.3% from friends/family members. Regarding reason of using drugs without prescription, 61.7% believed in their efficacy, 32.7% found their efficacy among friends and relatives whereas 16.8% avoided long waiting times at hospitals. Among those reported using of none-prescribed self-medication, alnalgesics (97.2%) and anti-pyretics (67.3%) were commonly used. Adult women aged over 45 years reported higher rate of using none-prescribed medication compared to younger women (p=0.009). Illiterate women used none-prescribed medications compared to those of higher education (p<0.001). Conclusion: Self-medication is an alarming sign for the women Saudi community. This behaviour can be prevented or minimized by increased awareness in our community regarding the misuse of drugs without prescription.
Keywords: non-prescription’ Self-medication, Women, Saudi Arabia.
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