Over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements consumption among academic youth in Poland

Bochenek, Tomasz and Godman, Brian and Lipowska, Katarzyna and Mikrut, Karolina and Zuziak, Sandra and Pedzisz, Magdalena and Nowak, Aneta and Pilc, Andrzej (2016) Over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements consumption among academic youth in Poland. Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, 16 (2). pp. 199-205. ISSN 1473-7167

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    Abstract

    Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and dietary supplements are increasingly popular in Poland, potentially improving overall health but also posing a threat to public health. The study goal is to characterize and assess behaviors related to use of OTC medicines and dietary supplements among Polish university students. A questionnaire-based survey was performed with students divided into groups (gender, subjects studied, period of studies). The majority of students declared using the products, significantly more females and younger students in their early years. Females tended to be more attentive to product information. Students with a background in biological or medical sciences were also more attentive and less influenced by advertising. We conclude that the differences between the defined groups of students should be utilized in tailored educational activities, aiming to rationalize high consumption of OTC medicines and dietary supplements. Targeting other, especially poor and less-educated groups, should follow.