Perspectives of and Experience toward the Abuse of Antidiarrheal Drug (Loperamide) among Community Pharmacists: A Cross-Sectional Study

Muna Barakat, Amal Akour, Diana Malaeb, Sarah Cherri, Wala’a Al.Safadi, Ala’a Al.Safadi, Mayyada Wazaify

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study aimed to assess the ability of community pharmacists to recognize cases of loperamide abuse at the point of sale, their perspective of and experience toward potential abuse cases. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Jordan, using a self-administered online questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of three main parts: demographics, the experience of pharmacists with abusers’ behavior, as well as their perspectives toward loperamide abuse. Results: A total of 250 community pharmacists completed the survey, 54% (135) of which were female. Almost one-third (33.2%; 83) of the participants reported exposure to suspected cases of loperamide abuse during the last six months. Pharmacists declared that most of the suspected loperamide abusers were male (60.2%), of middle–low socioeconomic status (69.9%), and between 20 and 30 years of age (57.8%). The largest quantity (packs) of loperamide requested by a single patient was around 33.2 ± 14.9 at once. As reported by pharmacists, the suspected reasons behind loperamide abuse included 50% seeking euphoria, 17% relieving anxiety, and 33% controlling addiction (weaning off other opioids). The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between the male sex (OR = 1.2, 95% CI 0.12–1.59), pharmacy location in the center of Jordan (OR = 21.2, 95% CI 2.45–183.59), late-night working shift (Shift C, OR = 1.29, 95% CI 0.12–2.08), and abuse to loperamide during the last six months. Conclusions: This study sheds light on loperamide abuse potentials, which could be influenced by different sociodemographic characteristics. Accordingly, close monitoring and thorough tackling of the abuse practices are mandated through an increase in educational and awareness campaigns about proper medication use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6400
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume20
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • abuse
  • community pharmacists
  • Jordan
  • loperamide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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