An exploration of individual knowledge and behavior for utilizing OTC drugs and dietary supplements for health enhancement: An empirical analysis from Dubai

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Over-the-counter, OTC, Medication Adherence, Drugs, Dietary Supplements, Health, Vitamins, UAE


Background: Self-medication and acquisition of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are emerging community health issues. Besides being a cheap alternative for treating common illnesses, the behavior entails serious ramifications, such as medication wastage, increasing pathogen resistance, and adverse drug reactions. So, the purpose of the present study was to explore and understand the consumption of commonly used OTC drugs and dietary supplements in Dubai and also assess individuals’ self-care behaviors related to OTC and dietary supplements. Methodology: A cross-sectional study design was adopted in the present study and 200 participants were included in this study. Data was entered and analyzed through SPSS version 22. While the chi-square test was conducted to find out significance among variables. Findings: Results from the current study showed that more than a quarter of the participants (31%) were male and 69% of them were females. The prevalence of OTC drugs and dietary supplements was higher (98%) among the individuals living in Dubai. The majority of participants (80%) used analgesics as OTC drugs. Results also revealed that 35.5% of participants used vitamins on a daily basis, 11% used them on weekly basis, and 5.5% used them on monthly basis. While 79.5% of participants obtained their OTC drugs and dietary supplements from community pharmacies. Conclusion: This study provides significant findings regarding an individual’s knowledge and behavior for utilizing OTC drugs and dietary supplements. The result has drawn from the present study can help the policymakers, and stakeholders to promulgate and effectiveness of policies and program implementation within the country. Lastly future studies with larger samples are required for the generalizability of the study results.

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