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IJMDC. 2021; 5(10): 1695-1709

Knowledge and attitude of acetaminophen induced hepatotoxicity. A community-based study in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah

Inas Abdullah Barakat, Shahd Ateeg Alrehaili, Khawlah Sultan Alhussain, Reem Mustafa Andijany, Rana Mustafa Andijany, Ayat Atallah Alsamiri.


Background: Acetaminophen is widely used as an antipyretic and analgesic. It is considered safe when administered within its therapeutic range with a maximum daily dose (MDD) of 4,000 mg/day. In cases of acute intoxication, complications such as acute liver failure can occur. This study aims to assess the knowledge and attitudes toward acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity among the adult population in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among adults (above 18 years) living in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah, Saudi Arabia, performed via an electronically distributed questionnaire using social media in March 2020.
Results: Of 405 participants, only 15.3% recognized 4,000 mg/day acetaminophen to be the MDD. Meanwhile, 84% of participants knew of liver damage being a side-effect of acetaminophen. Panadol was identified as a drug containing acetaminophen by 60% of participants. Regarding attitude, 30.1% of participants revealed that they look for acetaminophen as an ingredient before buying over-the-counter medications, while 22.7% look for it in medicines prescribed by their physicians. Only 24.7% of the participants reported receiving information about acetaminophen from health care workers, most of which were from doctors (55%). Panadol and Fevadol were the most used medications with a frequency of once-twice daily.
Conclusion: According to the study results, there is a lack of awareness regarding acetaminophenÂ’s MDD. However, awareness of acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity is satisfactory among the Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah population.

Key words: Acetaminophen, acute liver failure, hepatotoxicity, over the counter medications.

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