Public Attitude and Perception about Analgesic and their Side Effects

Main Article Content

Maria Abdul Ghafoor Raja
Shuaa Saad Al-Shammari
Nawaf Al-Otaibi
Muhammad Wahab Amjad

Abstract

Introduction: Analgesics are substances which work in various ways to relieve different types of pain experienced in the body. Non-prescription over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are widely used by patients to control pain and fever.

Study Objective: To evaluate of knowledge, attitudes and practices about analgesic and their side effects.

Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted during a period of three months from September to December 2017 in Rafha and Riyadh - Saudi Arabia on a random sample of 237 Saudi people, the data was collected by using a self-administered questionnaire in the Arabic language. Statistical analysis was done by using MS EXCEL using descriptive statistics and chi-square test.

Results: A total of 237 participants out of 260 consented to be interviewed and completed the questionnaire with a response rate (91%). Their ages ranged between 18 years and 54 years with a mean (28) and standard deviation (7.9). Majority of participants were females (92%) and about two thirds (66%) were highly educated. A quarter of study participants (25%) do not read leaflet of analgesic before use. About one-fifth of respondents (20%) reported that they cannot stop taking analgesic even if the pain is mild. 12% and 36% of respondents always and sometimes, respectively, use more than one type of analgesic for pain relief. 10% of respondents reported the occurrence of side effects from analgesic. The respondents use analgesic mainly for headache (43%) and toothache (25%). The chronic disease for which participants take analgesic were mainly arthritis (39%) and migraine (30%).

About three-quarters of respondents (74%) were aware that the use of analgesic is accompanied by side effects. The respondents believed that the reasons for analgesic misuse are that analgesic easily obtained without a medical prescription (40%) and there is no educational or awareness program regarding analgesic use (33%). Majority of participants believed that there is no sufficient awareness about analgesic. The source of information about analgesic for participants is physician (24%). Panadol analgesic is the most commonly used analgesic (48%) reported by participants.

Results showed that there is a significant statistical difference between male and female regard analgesic use (P=0.048) and between different level of educations and analgesic use (P=0.334).

Also, there is a highly significant statistical difference between male and female regard reading the leaflet before taking analgesic (P=0.0001) and between the educational level of participants regarding reading the leaflet before analgesic use (P=0.0008).

Conclusion: The over-the-counter (OTC) analgesic drugs are commonly used and many patients are unaware of their side effects. The findings of this study showed that people's knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding analgesic use is poor. Also, it is important to improve people's knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding analgesic use to reduce the misconceptions and misguided expectations contributing to inappropriate analgesic use. Therefore, health professional practice should play a major role in people's awareness of the appropriate use of OTC analgesic drugs.

Keywords:
Public attitude, analgesic drugs, Arabic language, painkillers.

Article Details

How to Cite
Raja, M. A. G., Al-Shammari, S. S., Al-Otaibi, N., & Amjad, M. W. (2020). Public Attitude and Perception about Analgesic and their Side Effects. Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, 32(3), 35-52. https://doi.org/10.9734/jpri/2020/v32i330412
Section
Original Research Article

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