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Is the over-the-counter purchase of antihistamines by residents in Dhaka, Bangladesh consistent with the prescription choice of doctors in Dhaka?

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Document pages: 8 pages

Abstract: Most current guidelines recommend the use of second-generation antihistamines (SGA) instead of first-generation antihistamines because SGA is unlikely to cause sedation and damage to heavy work performance. However, ordinary residents who use these antihistamines as over-the-counter drugs (OTC) are unlikely to know this. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to compare the use of over-the-counter antihistamines among ordinary residents in Dhaka, Bangladesh with the prescription preference of doctors. From June to August 2017, 100 doctors and 350 randomly selected ordinary residents from some top medical institutions in the city were directly interviewed using two separate semi-structured questionnaires specially designed for each population. Data istatistically analyzed using Fischer’s exact test, Spearman’s rank correlation test and Kendall’s tau rank correlation test. The data shows that physicians prefer second-generation antihistamines with fexofenadine (48.09 of the total responses), desloratadine (16.03 ), and rupatadine (13.74 ) taking the top spots. Cetirizine (29.46 of total responses), desloratadine (14.73 ), and chlorpheniramine (14.52 ) were the most used OTC antihistamines by the common residents. Statistical analysis with Fischer’s exact test revealed that the difference in preference of first-generation antihistamines between physicians and common residents were extremely significant (). Furthermore, cetirizine (which is known to have some degree of sedating activity) and chlorpheniramine are more preferred among common residents than among physicians (extremely significant difference, in both cases). The study concludes that physicians of Dhaka City are complying with practice guidelines, but sedating antihistamines still retain some popularity among the common residents. Hence, a more engaging community pharmacy is needed to minimize adverse effects that can arise from OTC use of sedating antihistamines.

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