Patterns of drug consumption and the occurrence of adverse drug reactions among students of public health

Danuta Plichta1, Agnieszka Dorynska2, Radoslaw Spiewak1,2

1. Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
2. Institute of Dermatology, Krakow, Poland

Source: Plichta D, Dorynska A, Spiewak R. Wzorce konsumpcji lekow oraz wystepowanie polekowych dzialan niepozadanych wsrod studentow kierunku zdrowie publiczne. Pol Merkuriusz Lek 2012; 32 (190): 232-237. (In Polish)


The research of drug consumption is focused mainly upon the elderly, while the knowledge of drug consumption patterns among young people remains insufficient. Public health students (PHS) seem of particular interest as future opinion leaders and drug policy makers. The aim of the study was to analyze opinions and patterns of drug consumption, and adverse drug reactions (ADR) in this group. Material and methods: 130 PHS took part in the anonymous questionnaire survey. Results: All students admitted to using some drug at least once in their lives. While purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, 51.6% students trusted their own knowledge and experience. Women more often relied on a pharmacist's recommendation (47.2% vs 21.7% men; p = 0.045), while men were more influenced by advertising (34.8% vs 12.3% women, p = 0.008). Strict adherence to recommended dosage of OTC and prescription drugs (Rx) was declared by 41.1% and 71.9% students, respectively. Every fourth student (24.8%) admitted to having purchased a Rx drug at least once without having the prescription. Past episodes of ADR to OTC were reported by 7.8% students and to Rx by 38.4% (p < 0.001). Respectively 27.2% and 34.4% students were never, or hardly ever asked about past ADR by prescribing physicians. According to 89.2% students, drug advertising should be subject to regulation and policing, and 66.1% considered it inaccurate and unreliable. Forty-five percent of students had an OTC drug on them while responding the questionnaire, 20.0% had a prescription drug. Conclusions: Students of public health seem to be notorious consumers of drugs and their attitude seems not fully rational.

Key words: drug consumption, young adults, students of public health, adverse drug reactions, drug marketing.

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Dermatologist in Krakow (Cracow)

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Document created: 23 May 2012, last updated: 24 May 2012.