AIM: To assess the level of knowledge of the adult users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regarding their side effects and the socio-demographic factors associated with the use of these drugs in the adult population of Albania.
METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study including a representative sample of 199 individuals aged ≥18 years (77% women; overall mean age: 30.3±10.0 years; overall response rate: 90%) who were users of NSAIDs recruited in ten different pharmacies in Tirana municipality during April-May 2015. A self-administered questionnaire contained basic socio-demographic information and questions about NSAIDs use, their types, participants' knowledge about NSAIDs side effects and their interaction with other drugs.
RESULTS: In 56% of the cases, NSAIDs were taken by participants' own decisions, whereas in about 29% of the cases these drugs were prescribed by physicians. Acetaminophen, ketoprofen and ibuprofen were the most frequently used NSAIDs. Overall, 51% of participants thought NSAIDs could cause allergic reactions, whereas one third or fewer were aware of each of the following side effects: upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding, hypertension, gastritis, kidney failure, myopathy, osteoporosis. About one third of participants were aware of NSAIDs-other drug interactions, whereas some of them were already taking contraindicated drugs. No significant differences were noticed regarding sex, age, educational level, employment status and marital status, with very few exceptions.
CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate limited knowledge about NSAIDs side effects and their interaction with other drugs among the Albania adult population, which is a cause of concern.
- Journal Article