A Study of Over-The-Counter (OTC) Drug Usage Pattern among the Patients attending a Medical College Hospital
Keywords:Over the counter drug, OTC drug misuse and abuse, self-medication.
Background:Over the counter drug abuse is a growing problem and it needs more recognition. This current
study is aimed to assess the pattern of over the counter drug usage among the patients attending Saveetha
medical college hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Method: This cross-sectional questionnaire based study was conducted at Saveetha medical college
and hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The patients who signed the informed consent form were the study
participants, a total of 100 patients were involved. The study period lasted from 23rd January 2019 to
30th March 2019. After the data was obtained they wereanalyzed using Microsoft excel. Percentages and
frequency were calculated.
Result: A total of 100 filled questionnaires were collected from the study participants. Majority of the
participants (63%) bought OTC drugs on occasion and the rest (37%) bought them always. Most of them
(43%) consumed OTC drugs when the symptoms were minor/manageable, 33% of them whenever they
felt sick and 24% when they couldn’t go to a doctor. Many (41%) believed they could relieve fever by
using OTC drugs, 20% to relieve nausea and 39% to relieve headache. Antipyretics (47%) were the most
commonly consumed OTC drug. Most (38%) common reason for choosing OTC drug was to save time.
Conclusion: This study helped gauge the general public’s views on OTC drug usage and gives an idea
about the amount of work that is yet to be done or has to be done to bring OTC drug abuse under control. It
is almost obligatory to make the patients understand the detrimental effects of OTC misuse and abuse- and
the most effective way to achieve this is by making the people aware of them in the first place. Even though
OTC drug abuse is a largely recognized problem, we still have a long way to go in terms of actually solving