Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Over the Counter Drugs use and its Associated Factors among Adults of an Urban Slum in Hyderabad: A Cross Sectional Study
Keywords:Over the counter drugs, self medication, COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: Over the counter (OTC) drugs are the drugs that are legally allowed to be sold ‘Over the counter’,
i.e., without the prescription of a registered medical practitioner. Self-medication represents a global healthcare
Objectives: To assess the usage of OTC medication among study subjects. To determine the factors associated with
use of OTC medication.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among adults of urban field practice area attached
to department of community medicine, Mamata Academy of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad during the months of
July and August 2022. Adults aged 18 years and above, who were willing to participate were interviewed. Simple
random technique was used for sampling. Data was entered in Microsoft excel and analysed in SPSS version 20.
Results: It was found that there was significant increase in the use of OTC drugs from the COVID-19 pandemic
as compared to before. Major source of OTC drugs was found to be Medical shops. Most common symptoms
for which self medication was taken were fever and body pains. The most common reason for opting OTC was
mentioned as convenience. Statistically significant association was found between Social class and OTC drug
usage (p value 0.001, X2=11.456, OR=7.4) and also between education status of the OTC drug users and checking
expiry date and reading label (p value 0.000).
Conclusion: OTC drugs usage among the study subjects was increased from the COVID-19 pandemic as compared
to before and risky behaviour was found in around half of the subjects.
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