Research Articles

2018  |  Vol: 4(2)  |  Issue: 4(March-April)  |
Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of over the Counter (OTC) Medicines among rural Population - A Cross Sectional Study

Aditya Goyal1, Ankit Gaur2, Manik Chhabra3, Kanad Deepak4*

1Student B. Pharm, ISF College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab, India

2Student Pharm. D. (Post Baccalaureate), Department Of Pharmacy Practice, ISF College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab, India

3Student Pharm. D., Department of Pharmacy Practice, ISF College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab, India

4Assistant Professor, Department. of Pharmacy Practice, ISF College of Pharmacy, GhalKalan, Ferozpur GT Road, Moga, 142001, Punjab, India

*Corresponding Author

Dr. Kanad Deepak

Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacy Practice 

ISF College of Pharmacy, GhalKalan, Ferozpur GT Road, Moga, 142001, Punjab, India


Background: The main aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of OTC drugs among rural population as well as which indications OTC drugs are used most of the time. Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out over a period of four months (November 2017 to February 2018) in Moga, Punjab, India using a self administered pre-validated questionnaire set which was prepared based on previous studies to collect the information pertaining to the pattern of OTC drugs use, reason and indication for OTC drugs use, list of drugs commonly used for self-medication. Results: Among 70 study participants 69% knew about the OTC drugs. On an average 7 times in last one year they practiced self-medication and used OTC drugs. It was seen that reasons for taking OTC drugs were various majority of them 93 % people take it due to their low cost. Analgesics and antipyretics were the most common class of drugs self –medicated by the majority of the participants 100%, followed by Antacids 81%. Pain and fever were the most frequently reported indications for use of OTC drugs headache, were the second and third most common indications were cough & cold, While considering the attitude and practices of self-medication it was found that a majority of study participants occasionally 36% read the instructions given on the product label. In case of checking the expiry date of the drug before use 39% always check the expiry date before using the drug and 30% of participants never checks the expiry date.  The main reason for consuming the OTC drugs majority of participants 91% agreed was whenever they feel sick. A majority of participants 61% immediately discard the drug when it shows change in shape, color and odour. Over 74% of the study participants consult to pharmacist before using OTC drugs. Conclusion: This cross-sectional study has found that use of OTC drugs is very common among rural population, facilitated by easy availability of drugs. A significant number of people are unaware of the side effects of the medication that they themselves take and suggest to others. It is important to create awareness about harmful effects of OTC drugs among rural population and prevent untoward consequences.

Keywords: Over the counter drugs, Self medication, OTC drugs, Practices, Rural population

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