Content of Home Pharmacies and Self-Medication Practices in Households of Pharmacy and Medical Students in Zagreb, Croatia: Findings in 2001 with a Reference to 1977

Aljinović-Vučić, Vedrana; Trkulja, Vladimir; Lacković, Zdravko
February 2005
Croatian Medical Journal;2005, Vol. 46 Issue 1, p74
Academic Journal
Aim: To evaluate the content of household drug supplies and self-medication practice among medical and pharmacy students at Zagreb University in 2001, and to relate the findings to a previous survey in 1977. Methods: A cross-sectional anonymous questionnaire-based survey included 287 students who inventoried drug supplies in their family households and interviewed the household members on drug keeping and self-medication practice. An identical methodology was used in 1977 (n=225). Results: In 2001, healthcare professionals were present in 37% of the surveyed households (33% in 1977). At least one drug was found in every household. Drugs were kept at a designated place ("home pharmacy") in 68% of the households (65% in 1977). Drugs past expiry dates and/or with purpose unknown to the household members were reported in 27% of the households (32% in 1977). The most frequently found drugs were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that were present in 97% of the households (93% in 1977), and were followed by antibiotics found in 46% of the households (40% in 1977). Self-medication of NSAIDs was practiced in 88% of the households in which they were found (95% in 1977), whereas self-medication of antibiotics was practiced in 37% of the households in which they were found (41% in 1977). Conclusion: Accumulation of drugs was common in the surveyed households. Self-medication of over-the-counter drugs was a routine practice, and self-medication of prescription drugs was practiced in many households. No major difference in this respect was found between the 2001 and 1977 surveys.


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