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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MASTROIANNI, Patricia de Carvalho; LUCCHETTA, Rosa Camila; SARRA, Josiane dos Reis  and  GALDUROZ, José Carlos Fernandez. Household storage and use of medications in a population served by the family health strategy in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.5, pp.358-364. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To identify families served by the family health strategy (FHS) storing medicines at home, to evaluate storage conditions, and to investigate medicine use practices. METHODS: The study was conducted in a municipality in the state of São Paulo with two FHS units serving 1 867 households. The sample was selected by means of stratified random sampling. Data collection was conducted through semistructured interviews from July to October 2008. RESULTS: One resident was interviewed in each of the 280 households visited. Medicines were found in 255 households (91.1%). Of 326 storage locations, 217 (75.8%) were inadequate (easily accessible to children or exposed to moisture, light). Of the 2 578 medicines identified, 2 059 medicines (79.9%) in 236 (84.3%) households had safety or identification problems. Of the 280 respondents, 179 (63.9%) used medications. Of these, 24 were self-medicating, only one with an over-the-counter drug. Only 44 users had the prescription for their medication, and 21 did not follow the prescription in terms of dosage or had interrupted the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Non-adherence to recommended treatment can lead to negative outcomes, such as inefficiency (using dosages lower than prescribed), poisoning (using dosages higher than prescribed), and other adverse reactions.

Keywords : Pharmaceutical services; Family Health Program; drug utilization; drug storage; self medication; Brazil.

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