Back to Journals » Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety » Volume 3

An exploratory study on medications in Qatar homes

Authors Kheir N, El Hajj MS, Wilbur K, Kaissi RML, Yousif A

Published 20 December 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 99—106

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DHPS.S25372

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

N Kheir1, MS El Hajj1, K Wilbur1, RML Kaissi1, A Yousif2
1College of Pharmacy, 2College of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar

Background: Drug therapy is the most often used intervention for treatment and prevention of disease. However, if used inappropriately, drugs can cause more harm than good. Improper drug storage and disposal can have a direct impact on public safety, the environment, and the health care services. The purpose of this study was to characterize medications stored in Qatar homes and to explore their methods of storage and disposal, and to identify the public's source of information related to medicines.
Methods: For the purpose of this cross-sectional exploratory study, a list of telephone numbers was generated from Qatar's telephone directory using a systematic sampling method. Individuals consenting to participate were interviewed using a multipart pretested survey instrument.
Results: Data were collected from a total of 49 homes. Most respondents did not have a designated compartment or box specifically for storing medications. The majority of drugs (48%) were kept in bedrooms and a number of respondents were keeping their drugs in the fridge and in the kitchen. The most often stored classes of medicines were analgesics, antihistamines, nutritional supplements, and medications used for the respiratory system. Most respondents disposed of unwanted medicines by throwing them in the trash. In about 15% of cases, the dosage of drug taken was different from the instructions on the label. Sharing of prescription medicines was not uncommon. The majority of respondents sought information related to drugs from doctors.
Conclusion: These findings raise concerns about how medications are stored and disposed of in the community. The fact that no household routinely returned unwanted medications to a pharmacy for proper disposal places the environment at risk. There is a need for more societal awareness about the safe handling and storage of drugs in the home, and about the professional role of the pharmacist.

Keywords: medication, home, Qatar, storage, disposal

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]

 

Other articles by this author:

Pharmacists’ knowledge and attitudes about natural health products: a mixed-methods study

Kheir N, Gad HY, Abu-Yousef SE

Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety 2014, 6:7-14

Published Date: 30 January 2014

The utility of an electronic adherence assessment device in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a pilot study of single medication

Nadir Kheir, William Greer, Adil Yousif, et al

Patient Preference and Adherence 2010, 4:247-254

Published Date: 7 July 2010

Pharmacist-documented interventions during the dispensing process in a primary health care facility in Qatar

Richard Hooper, Abdullah Adam, Nadir Kheir

Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety 2009, 1:73-80

Published Date: 30 November 2009

Readers of this article also read:

Activation of mTOR: a culprit of Alzheimer’s disease?

Cai Z, Chen G, He W, Xiao M, Yan LJ

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2015, 11:1015-1030

Published Date: 9 April 2015

Antipsychotic agents: efficacy and safety in schizophrenia

de Araújo AN, de Sena EP, de Oliveira IR, Juruena MF

Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety 2012, 4:173-180

Published Date: 29 November 2012

McArdle disease: a case report and review

Leite A, Oliveira N, Rocha M

International Medical Case Reports Journal 2012, 5:1-4

Published Date: 20 January 2012

Paliperidone: the evidence of its therapeutic value in schizophrenia

Joshua Kantrowitz, Leslie Citrome

Core Evidence 2007, 2:0-0

Published Date: 15 December 2007