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Original Research

A questionnaire-based study evaluating medication storage habits of patients attending outpatient department of a tertiary care teaching hospital

Nehal Ashok Shah, Shruti Brahmbhatt, Andrew Mark.


Background: Due to easy availability and high prevalence of chronic diseases, an increased number of drugs are being prescribed per family. It is important to ensure patients are aware of appropriate storage requirements to prevent negative health and economic consequences.

Aim and Objectives: (1) To identify drug storage habits of patients (2) To evaluate the awareness of patients regarding appropriate storage conditions. (3) To identify potential harmful usage patterns of stored drugs in the household.

Materials and Methods: This is a survey-based study among 100 patients attending the medicine outpatient department (OPD). A pre-validated questionnaire was given to the participants and response was collected and analyzed.

Results: All participants reported storage of medications at home. An average of 3.42 ± 1.8 drugs were stored at home. Future use (50%) was the most common reason for storing medications. Analgesics (35%), cardiovascular medications (35%), and antibiotics were the most common drug groups to be stored. Bedroom cabinets and drawers were the most common storage location. Only 25% of participants were aware that drugs had specific storage requirements. Most participants (85%) could not read or understand the label present on drug formulations.

Conclusion: Awareness of appropriate home storage conditions for medications remains low. This presents an opportunity for health-care providers and workers to better communicate storage instructions. Understanding patient behavior in this regard may lead to better health outcomes.

Key words: Drug Storage; Home Storage; Polypharmacy

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