To identify sources used by patients to obtain drug-related information and to find which portion of patients study the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL).Methods
A cluster random sampling was used to select 19 community pharmacies in Shiraz, Iran, from 192 pharmacies registered by Food and Drug Office of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Using a questionnaire, an independent assessor surveyed outpatients immediately after their prescriptions were dispensed. Results were subjected to statistical analysis.Results
Total of 671 patients were interviewed, of which 188 patients (28%) reported they received no information from pharmacists or physicians and 169 patients (25%) received their medications without prescription. Nearly half of the patients (46%) were informed on the frequency of use and dose of their medications. Very few patients (6%) were appropriately informed about the frequency of use, dosage, duration of treatment, and potential side effects, allergies and drug interactions. Patients with college education used PILs as a source of information more than those with lower education levels.Conclusion
A significant portion of patients obtained medicines without a prescription. Only a few portion of patients in Shiraz received adequate drug information from their physician or pharmacist. A considerable portion of patients did not study PILs.