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Article

Pharmacists’ Insights and Behaviors in Preventing the Misuse of Topical Corticosteroids in Pakistan: A Mixed-Method Study

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dow College of Pharmacy, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi 74200, Pakistan
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Jinnah College of Pharmacy, Sohail University, Karachi 74000, Pakistan
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Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dow College of Pharmacy, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi 74200, Pakistan
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Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jinnah Sind Medical University, Karachi 75510, Pakistan
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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jinnah University for Women, Karachi 74600, Pakistan
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Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, Karachi 75000, Pakistan
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Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Kulliyyah of Pharmacy, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuantan 25200, Malaysia
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Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Kuala 21300, Malaysia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Enzo Berardesca
Cosmetics 2021, 8(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics8030072
Received: 27 July 2021 / Revised: 5 August 2021 / Accepted: 6 August 2021 / Published: 12 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cosmetovigilance: Public Health Perspective)
Topical corticosteroids (TCs) misuse has become a common issue for healthcare professionals and patients, particularly in Pakistan, as no stringent laws or rules are prohibiting the selling of over-the-counter medicines. The present study was designed to examine pharmacists’ insights and behaviors regarding TCs and their potential role in preventing the misuse of TCs in Pakistan. The study was a cross-sectional mixed-methods research design (phase 1, quantitative; and phase 2, qualitative) conducted from January to June 2021. The pharmacists working in various settings in Karachi were approached through different social media platforms. Data were collected through a web link of an online questionnaire with 30 closed-ended questions. Different statistical methods were employed for tabulating the quantitative data, while inductive thematic analysis was directed to classify themes from the qualitative data and to conclude findings. The mean cumulative knowledge score was 10.59 ± 1.63. The community pharmacists knew more about the available over-the-counter TCs (p = 0.041). The experienced pharmacists were more conversant than fresh pharmacists, regarding the mode of action (p = 0.008), choice of TC potency (p = 0.001), and most common local and systemic adverse effects of TCs (p = 0.001). Overall, respondents had a favorable attitude, with more than 80% agreeing that pharmacists could ensure that important safety issues are communicated with patients, and assist considerably in avoiding TC misuse. Analysis of data has produced 7 themes, 10 sub-themes, and 30 categories. Major themes included: use and misuse of TCs, adverse drug events due to TCs, cosmeto-vigilance, patient education, referral to a physician, and future perspectives for preventing TC misuse. The respondents were well versed with the dilemma of TCs misuse, and they considered patient characteristics, free availability of TCs, and lack of physician-pharmacist coordination as the major reasons. The major barriers for patient education stated by nearly all the respondents were a lack of time and lack of material/information for counseling. They emphasized the need for stringent legal strategies and the enforcement of current drug-control regulations, so that TCs are not supplied without appropriate prescriptions. The present findings indicate that pharmacists had appropriate knowledge and a positive attitude towards their potential role in preventing the misuse of TCs. Further education and sensitization in areas of deprived knowledge will undoubtedly aid in the prevention of TCs misuse by the community. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmacists; mixed-method study; misuse; topical corticosteroids; cosmeto-vigilance; Pakistan pharmacists; mixed-method study; misuse; topical corticosteroids; cosmeto-vigilance; Pakistan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shakeel, S.; Nesar, S.; Iffat, W.; Rehman, H.; Aziz, S.; Mumtaz, T.; Hadi, H.; Jamshed, S. Pharmacists’ Insights and Behaviors in Preventing the Misuse of Topical Corticosteroids in Pakistan: A Mixed-Method Study. Cosmetics 2021, 8, 72. https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics8030072

AMA Style

Shakeel S, Nesar S, Iffat W, Rehman H, Aziz S, Mumtaz T, Hadi H, Jamshed S. Pharmacists’ Insights and Behaviors in Preventing the Misuse of Topical Corticosteroids in Pakistan: A Mixed-Method Study. Cosmetics. 2021; 8(3):72. https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics8030072

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shakeel, Sadia, Shagufta Nesar, Wajiha Iffat, Hina Rehman, Samreen Aziz, Tayyaba Mumtaz, Hazrina Hadi, and Shazia Jamshed. 2021. "Pharmacists’ Insights and Behaviors in Preventing the Misuse of Topical Corticosteroids in Pakistan: A Mixed-Method Study" Cosmetics 8, no. 3: 72. https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics8030072

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