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Introduction: Safe disposal of medications is of high concern as malpractice may lead to harmful consequences such as undesirable effects, prescription drug abuse, overstocking, self-medication, accidental overdose, and even death. There is a lack of uniform and nationwide guidance on how patients should safely dispose their leftover medications.
Objective: To assess patients’ knowledge and attitude regarding the disposal of medications.
Methods: This was prospective observational study done for a period of six months from October 2022 to March 2023 in patients visiting Government General Hospital, Kadapa. Informed consent form was acquired from the participant. Likert scale was used for questionnaire and kruskal-Wallis test was performed to find significance between the groups.
Results: A total of 400 patients participated in this study. The mean age of the respondents was 45.9 years (standard deviation [SD], 12.75), ranging from 18 to 64 years. The rate of medication sharing was 62.6%. The most prevalently shared medications were antipyretics, analgesics and antibiotics. The rates of improper storage and improper disposal were 25.5% and 87.25% respectively. More than half of the participants 68.25% said that they never received any information on how to dispose medicines from healthcare professionals, throwing medicines directly into dustbin is the commonly practiced disposal practice.
Conclusion: Prescription sharing, improper storage and improper disposal were common practices among public. Awareness on proper drug storage, proper disposal, drug take back Program should be promoted more effectively through educational campaigns, healthcare providers particularly pharmacists should educate and guide them with specific action plans.