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Disposal Practices of Unused Medications Among Patients in Public Health Centers of Dessie Town, Northeast Ethiopia: A Cross Sectional Survey

Authors Kassahun H, Tesfaye D

Received 19 December 2019

Accepted for publication 20 March 2020

Published 30 March 2020 Volume 2020:9 Pages 65—70


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Ling

Haile Kassahun, Dugessa Tesfaye

Department of Pharmacy, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wollo University, Dessie, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Haile Kassahun Email

Background: Disposal of pharmaceutical waste among patients is a global challenge, especially in developing countries like Ethiopia. Improper medication disposal can lead to health problems and environmental contamination. Therefore, the present study was aimed to assess disposal practices of unused medications among patients in public health centers of Dessie town, Northeast Ethiopia.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted among 263 patients in four public health centers of Dessie town, Ethiopia from March to June 2019. Face-to-face interviews using structured questionnaires were used to collect data from each study subject.
Results: The majority of the respondents, 224 (85.17%), had unused medications at their home during the study period. The most commonly reported disposal method in the present study was flushing down into a toilet, 66 (25.09%). None of the respondents practiced returning unused medications to the pharmacy. Moreover, 85 (32.31%) of the respondents reported never disposing of their medications and believed that it is acceptable to store medications at home for future use.
Conclusion: In the present study, there was a high practice of keeping medications at home and most of the disposal practices were not recommended methods. In addition, most of the respondents did not receive advice from pharmacists and other health-care professionals on how to dispose of unused medications. Hence, there is a need for proper education and guidance of patients about disposal practices of unused medications.

Keywords: unused medicines, disposal practices, patients, Dessie

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