Original Research Article | OPEN ACCESS

Prevalence and pattern of misuse of over-the-counter drugs among teachers in public and private secondary schools in Benin City, Nigeria

Chinonyerem O Iheanacho1 , Vincent Y Adam2

For correspondence:-    

Published: 20 December 2020

Citation: Iheanacho CO, Adam VY. Prevalence and pattern of misuse of over-the-counter drugs among teachers in public and private secondary schools in Benin City, Nigeria. J Sci Pract Pharm 2020; 7(1):383-390 doi: https://doi.org/10.47227/jsppharm.v7i1.5

© 2020 The author(s).
This is an Open Access article that uses a funding model which does not charge readers or their institutions for access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) and the Budapest Open Access Initiative (http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read), which permit unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited..


Purpose: Misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can result in several harms ranging from mild to very severe conditions. The study assessed the prevalence and pattern of misuse of OTC medicines among secondary school teachers, for improved safety measures.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted, using a multistage sampling technique. A self-administered, structured, researcher-developed questionnaire on OTC medicine use was used for data collection after face validity and pre-test. OTC medicines misuse was assessed with reference to the recommended dose, among 300 respondents. Analysis of data was done using IBM SPSS version 21.0.  P ≤ 0.05

Results: A total of 300 respondents participated in the study and the majority were 25-40 years of age, 120 (40.0%). Females constituted 186 (62.0%) of the population. Vitamin supplements were predominantly misused 110 (36.7%) at varying degrees, followed by Analgesics 104 (34.7%), Cough mixtures 41 (13.7%) and Ointments 7 (2.3%) respectively. More than half of the respondents (62.3%) misused their OTC medicines at varying degrees; Always 6 (2.0%), Sometimes 145 (48.3%) and rarely 36 (12.0%). The majority of the respondents misused OTC drugs because they did not think it mattered 91 (48.7%). Other reasons were; recommended dose not effective 84 (44.9%) and the need for faster onset of action 9 (4.8%). The prevalence of misuse was 187 (62.3%).

Conclusion: There was high prevalence and widespread misuse of various OTC medicines by the teachers at varying degrees, with vitamin supplements being most misused. Teachers should have routine OTC drug information through workshops organized by health-related agencies, since they possess the ability to influence the larger society.

Keywords: Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, misuse,  school teachers, prevalence.

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