UnusedMedicines in Households


1 Department of Pharmacodynamics and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran

2 Community Medicine specialist, Departments of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Science, Mashhad, Iran

3 Faculty of Medicine,Mashhad University of Medical Sciences,Mashhad, IR Iran

4 Medical Ethics Department, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran Mashhad, Iran. Tel: +985138002388; Email: khajedalueem@mums.ac.ir


Abstract Background: Unusedmedicines in households are among the problems inmanymodern societies and developing nations. This issue leads to social and economical problems, and it is associated with other complications such as self-medication, poisoning, incomplete recovery, and suicide. Objectives: The present study was carried out in Mashhad and aimed at determining the amount of unused medicines in Mashhadi households in 2013. Patients andMethods: In a cross-sectional study in 2013, three hundred householdswere selected through a cluster randomsampling with the help of 12 healthcare centers in Mashhad. Data were collected by applying a checklist and analyzed by SPSS 11.5. Descriptive indices, including central tendency and dispersion, and frequency distribution were applied to describe qualitative variables; and chi- 2,Man-Whitney, and Kruskall-Wallis to compare quantitative variables. Level of significance was set to P < 0.05. Results: This study showed that the existence of unused drugs and the number of unused drugs in household have significant differ- ence in four zones (P = 0.01, P < 0.001). Also, health insurance coverage was statistically different in various health centers (P = 0.002). Also, there is a significant association between unusedmedication in the household and family size, father’s occupation, and a family member being a health professional, respectively (P value 0.02, 0.002, 0.04) Conclusions: The findings of this study and similar ones support that the amount of unusedmedicines inside houses has to be lowered by physicians prescribing a more reasonable number of drugs, giving consultation to patients, and raising public awareness. On the other hand, amechanismneeds to be applied in order tomake use of the drugs kept inside houses and reduce drug wastage.


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