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A Survey on Home Storage of Medicines in South India

Journal: International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR) (Vol.7, No. 9)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 235-237

Keywords : Medicine Box; home storage; clinical pharmacist;

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A SURVEY ON HOME STORAGE OF MEDICINES IN SOUTH INDIA BACKGROUND Medicines are kept in households worldwide for first aid, treatment of minor ailments such as cold, fever, headache, diarrhoea, pain, and minor wounds and injuries. These medicines are either prescribed by health professionals or obtained over-the counter in the communities. The presence of medicines in households is a risk factor for irrational drug use mainly due to the easy access. In most communities of developing countries, there is limited knowledge among the population on the safety of drugs commonly in homes. In addition to this, controlling the use of drugs stored at home is a great task especially from unintentional users such as children which increases the risk of accidental poisoning. Moreover, presence of medicines at home has also been associated with sharing of drugs which further increase the risk of inappropriate drug use and hence the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. The burden of increasing diseases especially in developing countries, desire for quick recovery from illness and the acceptance of self-medication among communities influence home storage of drugs. Challenges in healthcare delivery such as inadequate access, lack of medical personnel and frequent drug stock outs common in developing countries may also influence communities to store drugs in homes. Many studies in Africa identified a high prevalence of drug storage at home. In Sudan, about 98 % of investigated families had at least one drug product stored at home. Study conducted in Uganda also showed that about 40 % of the surveyed households kept medicines at home and 30 % of identified anti-bacterias found in surveyed households were kept for future use. In Ethiopia, a study conducted almost two decades ago in Addis Ababa revealed that 20 % of the studied households were found hoarding drugs, and drug sharing was practiced by 17 % of the respondents. Apart from this study, little has been done to characterize drugs stored in households in south India. Therefore, this study aimed at generating data on the prevalence and factors associated with home storage of medicines in south India. The challenges of having medicines in homes include poor storage conditions such as humidity, and temperature are not regulated. This increases the risk of deterioration and expiry of medicines. Due to lack of capacity to detect expired drugs in households, these medicines are in most cases taken by the residents, increasing the risk of adverse effects. People are not mainly aware of storage of the medicines, they may keep the medicines everywhere not at particularly defined places which may cause drug deterioration. Health professionals often focus on giving patients information on medicine use with limited information offered on storage and their disposal. The medicines that inevitably remain after most treatments are disposed in various ways such as throwing in garbage pits and latrines/toilets. This inappropriate disposal of medicines poses danger to the community and the environment.

Last modified: 2021-06-28 19:56:54