Acta poloniae pharmaceutica

Information and awareness concerning ibuprofen as an ingredient in over the counter analgesics: a questionnaire-based survey of residents of retirement communities.

PMID 23614290


Convenient access to a large variety of OTC medicines presents patients with the opportunity for the self-treatment of many health problems. Yet this also brings on other health risks, especially to the elderly. A pointed lack of information about the safety of NSAIDs has been found among lay people, but no study in the Czech Republic so far has focused on the preferences of the residents' of retirement homes for particular NSAID pain relievers and these patients' level of knowledge regarding use and safety issues. We undertook a cross-sectional study in 9 retirement communities. A self-developed questionnaire was used to gather data on the preferences of seniors for particular NSAIDs and on their knowledge about ibuprofen. Two hundred elderly people participated in the research, 77% of the sample being female. The mean age was 83 +/- 7 years. Ibuprofen was the preferred NSAID analgesic among participants. 64% of respondents indicated that they suffered from pain nearly every day. The best known indication of ibuprofen was analgesic (56.7%) and younger and more educated participants had better knowledge in general about indications. A similar percentage (57.8%) was not aware of any adverse effects of ibuprofen, and 16% believed it had no adverse effects at all. Knowledge of drug interaction was very low--most of participants (84%) were not aware of any interactions. 58% of respondents indicated that they relied on the advice of a physician about pain relievers. Despite the fact that many of the elderly individuals surveyed suffer from pain nearly every day and ibuprofen is their preferred choice among NSAIDs, their knowledge about use and safety of ibuprofen is inadequate.