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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-84

Predictors of over-the-counter medication: A cross-sectional Indian study

1 Department of Pharmacology, MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, Odisha, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Abinash Panda
Department of Pharmacology, MKCG Medical College, Berhampur, Odisha - 760 004
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.203043

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Context: The determinants of over-the-counter (OTC) medication need to be understood to design adequate drug information policies. Aim: To determine the prevalence and predictors of OTC medication among the adult population of Berhampur town in Odisha, India. Settings and Design: It was a prospective, cross-sectional, observational study carried out in the private retail pharmacy on a convenience sample of 880 adults over a period of 6 months at Berhampur, Odisha, India. Materials and Methods: Medication use behavior was explored using a data collection form that had three parts. The first part captured data on the sociodemographic characteristics of drug consumers. The second and third part collected data on drug history and attitude toward the available health-care facility, respectively. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive statistics was used to represent the prevalence of OTC medication. Odds ratio and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to determine the predictors of OTC medication. Results: The overall prevalence of OTC medication use was 18.72% (95% CI: 15.34–47.16%). Younger age, male gender, lower income, and poor lifestyle were the predictors of OTC medication. Perception of poor accessibility to health care, the presence of chronic diseases and having a symptom count of more than two significantly increased the likelihood of OTC medication (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Sociodemographic profile, drug history, and attitude toward health-care availability in the locality can predict OTC medication behavior. Interventions aimed at changing the perceptions of the public regarding accessibility, affordability of the health care is likely to influence OTC medication behavior and make it safer.

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