*Raghu V., Sindu Sulekha and Srinivas Pavan K. Y. and Vijay K. Y.


Background: Self administration of various drugs is a relatively common phenomenon in India. While many over-the-counter drugs are safe for self-administration, there are several drugs that can have potentially harmful effects, if used without proper clinical evaluation and diagnosis by a qualified medical professional. Topical steroid eye drops are one such commonly abused medication, either prescribed by quacks or bought over-the-counter. Methods and Materials: This was a cross sectional study conducted over a period of three months at CAIMS, Karimnagar, India. Sample size included 300 patients of both sexes, aged between 18 and 60 years who visited hospital for 1st time at Ophthalmology outpatient clinic. Subjects were interviewed, and given to fill a questionnaire composed by the author. The questionnaire consisted of demographic data such as patient’s age, gender and level of education and also details concerning the knowledge, attitude and practice on ocular eye drop usage. Results: It has been found that out of 300 patients included in our study, 115 patients reported using eye drops without proper consultation, of which 40 patients were using steroid eye drops.As per the study, the most common cause among the symptoms, for which steroid eye drops were used without consulting qualified doctor, is redness and itching of the eyes (65%), followed by pain in the eyes (15%), watering (10%), and trauma in the eyes (5%). Patients got steroid eye drops from medical shops (50%), prescribed by quacks (35%), suggested by relatives (10%). The usage was not was significantly associated with the education levels of the subjects (p>0.05). Conclusion: Misuse of topical steroid eye drops is rampant in the region of study. Lack of awareness about the contents and side effects of these medications among patients is alarming. This was much higher in rural and illiterate population. This deserves further bigger multi-centric studies to uncover magnitude of the problem on a largerscale. There is also urgent necessity for sensitization about this problem among patients, pharmacists and other health personnel.

Keywords: .

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