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Rosy Raju*, Ansu Ismail, Jihad Bin Abdul Majeed and Hanumanthachar Joshi


Over the counter drugs (OTC) are sold without the prescription of a registered medical professional. There are reports that OTC drug market in India is on rise. This is attributed to the rising cost of health care, difficulty in accessing health care and an alarming tendency to self-manage symptoms. The outcome of this is often OTC related adverse effects, abuse and hospitalizations. Hence this prospective observational study aims to evaluate the dispensing pattern of OTC drugs in retail pharmacies in Vidyaranyapuram, Mysuru south zone. During this study, around 89.6% visited the pharmacies without prescription. Over 700 patients who visited the pharmacies over a period of 2 months were interviewed and their non- prescription request patterns were recorded to access the frequency of self-medication. Most commonly dispensed OTC drugs were Analgesics. The other categories of medications dispensed were Laxatives 23.5%, Antacids, combos 2.85%, Histamine h2 antagonists 17.14%, Proton pump inhibitors 25.71%, Antifungals 0.71%, Antipyretic 51.71%. The most common complaints for the use of OTC drugs in patients was Gastritis, Migraine, Vaginal infection, Headache, Stomach upset, Constipation, Fever, Stomach pain, Muscle pain, Dental pain. The dispensing pattern studied 89.6% OTC drugs were dispensed without prescription in retail pharmacy and 10.4% OTC drugs were dispensed with prescription in community pharmacy. However, 65.4% were provided with appropriate awareness about the side effects of OTC drugs, while 34.6% were not. This study concludes that more understanding of OTC drugs is needed by patients and pharmacists to avoid the adverse effects of OTC drugs.

Keywords: OTC dugs. Retail pharmacy, Community pharmacist.

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