Prevalence of over-the-counter drug abuse among adults in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


  • Osama Yousif Safdar Professor of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Pediatric Nephrology Center of Excellence, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Ghaidaa Faisal Albaz Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Sara Mohammed Mannan Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Wejdan Ali Alshehri Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Razan Mohammed Altumaihi Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Walaa Jamal Bakhashwain Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Shahad Tariq Khayyat Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Wasayf Mohammed Almehmadi Medical intern ,King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia



prevalence, over-the-counter, drug, abuse, adults, Jeddah


Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of over-the-counter drug abuse among an adult population in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, and a validated electronic self-administered questionnaire was administered to the general population in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from June to August, 2020.

Results: Overall, 400 participants were included in this study. The majority (94%) reported the use of over-the-counter drugs, of which 15.2% reported drug-related problems following over-the-counter drug use. The most frequently preferred over-the-counter drug group was analgesics/antipyretics (90.4%). More than three-quarters of our study participants stated that they read the instructions provided in the leaflet accompanying their medications carefully before use (76.3%).

Conclusion: We found a highly significant prevalence of over-the-counter medication use, which exceeded 50%, without any significant association between over-the-counter use and other factors, except for the presence of chronic diseases. We recommend that, the Ministry of Health, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should play a major role in monitoring the practice of self-medication by implementing policies and creating surveillance committees to that effect.


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How to Cite

Safdar, O. Y., Albaz, G. F., Mannan, S. M., Alshehri, W. A., Altumaihi, R. M., Bakhashwain, W. J., Khayyat, S. T., & Almehmadi, W. M. (2021). Prevalence of over-the-counter drug abuse among adults in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Contemporary Medical Sciences, 7(6).