This study comprises a survey to examine the use, risks, and awareness of over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication. The survey was a paper-based survey extended to the general public in Cork, Ireland from February 24th 2020 to March 14th 2020. A Microsoft Excel template (16.34 2020) was used to analyse the results of the 106 valid responses that were received. Responses showed that 105/106 individuals had taken an OTC painkiller in their lifetime. Paracetamol was the most used OTC painkiller with 98.1% of people having taken it in the past. The overall majority of individuals were aware of the risks associated with OTC painkiller use. However, there were a large number of people that were unaware of the serious risks and dangers. A higher proportion of individuals were willing to take a second dose sooner than recommended (41.9%), rather than a higher dose (36.2%), if they were in significant pain. In terms of taking a dose sooner than recommended; 43.7% of ibuprofen users and 35% of paracetamol users were unaware of the adverse health consequences. Regular users of OTC painkillers were generally more aware of the risks when compared to irregular users. This study supports the need for further education on the risks of OTC painkiller use as there was a large proportion of individuals willing to take higher doses than recommended, and many were unaware of the drug's associated risks.
Cusack, Shane M.; Lagali, Angeline D.; and Stavrianos, Andreia
"An Investigation into Over the Counter Painkiller Use,"
International Undergraduate Journal of Health Sciences: Vol. 1:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://sword.cit.ie/iujhs/vol1/iss1/7