Assessment of Knowledge and Awareness on the Disposal of Expired and Unused Medicines among Medication Consumers

    Published on:November 2019
    Journal of Young Pharmacists , 2019; 11(4):410-416
    Original Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2019.11.84

    Logesh Kumar S1, Logeshwaran1, Nagasubramanian Vanitha Rani2,*, Thennarasu P2, Keerthana M1, Lavanya M1

    1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA.

    2Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (Deemed to be University), Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, INDIA.


    Objectives: Safe disposal of expired, unwanted, or unused medications by the consumers is a major challenge worldwide. The knowledge, attitude and practice of consumers on disposal of unused and expired medicines were assessed. Methods: Data on demographics, educational, occupation, socioeconomic status, drugs purchased, number of unused or expired drugs were obtained from medicine consumers. Knowledge, attitude and practice of safe disposal methods, number, most common class, dosage forms of leftover drugs and the reasons were assessed using a questionnaire. Effect of educational, occupational, socioeconomic status on purchase of drugs, awareness on the consequences of improper disposal of drugs were assessed using chi square test. Results: Of 145 participants, 46 % were females and 54% were males with a mean age of 36.76 + 13.60 years. 66 participants stated 1-5 drugs as leftover at home and the reason for possession of unused medicines as self-discontinuation after the condition was resolved. Most common drugs left unused at home were analgesics and the dosage form was tablets. 76.6% were unaware of the consequences of improper drug disposal. 65.5% stated the acceptable method to dispose medicines as collection of unused drug by Municipality. Majority (88%) disposed unused or expired medicines in the garbage. There was a statistically significant association between educational, occupational and socio economic status, purchase of drugs and awareness on consequences of improper drug disposal (P<0.05). Conclusion: Most of the participants had leftover of unused or expired drugs in their households and there was lack of awareness on safe disposal of medicines.

    Key words: Drug disposal, Unused drugs, Expiry drugs, Knowledge, Awareness, Medicine consumers.

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