UTILIZATION OF ACETAMINOPHEN IN PALESTINE: TOXICITY AND THERAPEUTIC IMPLICATIONS

Waleed M. Sweileh

Abstract


: Although its therapeutic mechanism of action is uncertain, acetaminophen (APAP) is one of the most commonly used analgesic antipyretic drug among children and adults. No studies were conducted on the pattern and extent of utilization of analgesics and APAP in particular in Palestine. The objective of this study is to analyze patterns of prescription and nonprescription of (APAP) use among the general Palestinian population. The prescribing patterns in Palestine for (APAP) were studied by analyzing the 2002 prescription database. The non-prescription sale was obtained by a survey of 118 out of approximately 620 community pharmacies in West-Bank. Analysis showed that 3925 (14.7%) prescriptions contain an APAP products suggesting that at the national level, every seventh patient to a doctor’s clinic receives an APAP or APAP containing product. More than 50% of these APAP prescriptions were dispensed for children or infants. Analysis of APAP non-prescription sale showed the annual sale of APAP in community pharmacies in West-Bank regardless of dosage form is approximately 6,026,400 box suggesting that annual consumption rate of APAP per capita in Palestine is 20.4 gram/inhabitant/year. The national expenditure on APAP bought as an over-the-counter (OTC) from community pharmacies is estimated to be 10,668,350 million USD per year. Legislative actions and health awareness are needed to reduce consumption of APAP and risk of its toxicity among the general population.

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