2 - International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health-Qatar Proceedings
  • ISSN: 1999-7086
  • EISSN: 1999-7094


While there are benefits for over-the-counter medication (OTC) use, there are serious risks associated with OTC usage. These include self-misdiagnosis, possible delay in receiving needed therapy, use of suboptimal therapy, and increased resistance to antimicrobial agents. The patterns of (OTC) usage among adolescents remains largely understudied. The objectives of this study are: (1) to determine the profile of OTC use among adolescents from the United Arab Emirates (UAE); and (2) to determine the biological or physical, psychological or behavioral, and social predictors of OTC use among the UAE adolescent population.

In a cross-sectional study, we collected data on the prevalence of OTC use for a sample of 6,363 adolescents aged 13 to 20 years. We also collected demographic, socioeconomic, residential, and behavioral data. Analysis consisted of descriptive statistics, and bivariate and multivariate analyses. Logistic regression modelling was employed to examine predictors of over-the-counter medication use.

Overall, 51% of participants in this study reported OTC use. The most common form of OTC used was acetaminophen. Significant predictors of OTC use include nationality (UAE, GCC, Arab/Middle East, Arab/Africa, Western, Other), needed health care but did not receive it, sex (female), age (15–18 years), any medical diagnosis, unconventional drug use, spending more than 5 hours using TV and computer daily, and using prescription medicine.

Considering the high prevalence of OTC use among adolescents from the UAE, public health policies and strategies that promote appropriate use of OTC in this population are needed.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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