The use of prescription medicines and self-medication among children: a population-based study in Finland
2010 (English)In: Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, ISSN 1053-8569, E-ISSN 1099-1557, Vol. 19, no 10, 1000-1008 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and concomitant use of prescription medicines and self-medication, including over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, vitamins, and complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) among Finnish children aged under 12 years. Methods We carried out a nationwide postal survey of the use of medicines by a representative sample (n = 6000) of Finnish children aged under 12 years in spring 2007. A response rate of 67% (n = 4032) was achieved. The current use of prescription medicines and the use of OTC medicines, vitamins, and CAMs in the preceding 2 days were the main outcome measures. Results In total, 17% of children had used prescription medicines and 50% some self-medication. The corresponding figures for OTC medicines, vitamins, and CAMs use were 17, 37, and 11%, respectively. Drugs for obstructive airway diseases were the most common prescription medicines, whereas analgesics and antipyretics, including non-steroidal-anti-inflammatory-medicines (NSAID), were the most common OTC medicines reported. Vitamin D was the most common vitamin, while fish oils and fatty acids were the most common CAMs used. Ten percent of the children had used prescription medicines and self-medication concomitantly. Conclusions Most of the children's medication consists of self-medication, and especially of vitamin use. However, also a considerable proportion had used prescription medicines, and a minority prescription medicines and self-medication concomitantly. In three of the cases, a combination of prescription and OTC medicine with a potential risk for interactions were found. Physicians should be aware of this wide use of self-medication when prescribing medicines. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 19, no 10, 1000-1008 p.
child, drug utilization, population survey, self-medication, vitamin, complementary and alternative medicine
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-133590DOI: 10.1002/pds.1963ISI: 000283202300002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-133590DiVA: diva2:370214