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Over-The-Counter Analgesics (OTCA) account for over a fifth of Irish pharmacy sales. Little is known about patterns of use, specifically in children. This study investigated parents' use of OTCAs in children. A questionnaire exploring use of OTCAs and knowledge of side-effects was distributed to guardians of children attending three GP surgeries in South of Ireland from June-September 2010. The questionnaire was completed by 183 parents (response rate 95%). Many respondents (n = 121, 66.1%) were using analgesics when not required or using an inappropriate analgesic for a child's symptom. Private patients demonstrated better use (n = 31, 40%) than those with Medical Cards (n = 18, 22.5%) (p = 0.016). Identification of potential side-effects was poor, with drowsiness (n = 88, 49%), rash (n = 39, 22%) and nausea (n =3 2, 18%) listed as potential side-effects. Inappropriate use of OTCAs is prevalent in Irish children. Parents need more information and guidance on their use.


A A Garvey, C P Hawkes, C A Ryan, M Kelly. Parental patterns of use of over the counter analgesics in children. Irish medical journal. 2013 May;106(5):139-41

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PMID: 23914573

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