DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2349-2902.isj20210909

Attitude and practice of Saudi population towards self-medication with over the counter ophthalmic preparations

Amjad M. Alharbi, Marya A. Alsuhaibani, Suraka Rumman, Ahmed Mousa, Ahmad Alaraj

Abstract


Background: This study was conducted to identify Saudi populations’ attitude and practice towards self-medication with over the counter (OTC) ophthalmic preparations.

Methods: It was cross-sectional online-survey-based study using modified questionnaire from previous study targeting Saudi population (aged 15 years or above). Only who had used OTC ophthalmic preparations were included.

Results: A total of 1426 participants were included and the mean age was 25.5±9.3 years. History of eye diseases were seen in n=860 (60.3%) which is include myopia n=481 (33.7%), dry eye n=296 (20.8%) and vernal keratoconjunctivitis n=180 (12.6%). Fifty four percent of the participants were familiar with OTC preparation (n=767) and n=927 (65.7%) believed that it is not safe to be used. More than one third consider antibiotics, antihistamines and decongestant eye drops as OTC. However, only n=275 (19.5%) think that lubricant eye drops are not under OTC categories. Participants who self-medicated with OTC were n=890 (62.4%), among them n=422 (47.4%) they do not know the names of medication, n=305 (34.3%) used lubricants and n=80 (9%) used antibiotics. Participants received prescription advice from n=208 (39.3%) pharmacists, n=133 (25.1%) relatives’ advice and n=26 (4.9%) from social media. Thirty eight percent use OTC because they used it before, while n=217 (27.7%) used it because of its easily accessibility.

Conclusions: Saudi populations have awareness of various categories of OTC ophthalmic preparations. Despite that, those who used it tend to have poor practice.


Keywords


Eye drops, Misuse, Ophthalmic preparation, Over the counter

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