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Over-the-counter drugs: factors in adult use of sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants.
  • Published Date:

    1984 May-Jun

  • Source:
    Public Health Rep. 99(3):319-323
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Filetype[PDF-816.16 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Public Health Rep
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  • Description:
    Despite a growing research interest in over-the-counter (OTC) drug use, little information has been available about the determinants of use for this category of medications. The researcher examined the effects of demographic, need, and physician utilization measures on the use of 10 OTC drugs that were categorized as sedatives, tranquilizers, or stimulants. A statewide survey in 1975 of drug-using behavior in the previous year by Illinois adults ages 18-59 resulted in 2,738 questionnaires that could be analyzed. Thirteen variables, representing the demographic, need, and physician utilization characteristics of the respondents, were entered as predictors into logistic multiple regression models to estimate their effects on drug use. Only 10.37 percent of the respondents indicated that they had used any of the OTC drugs in the previous year. Sedative use was found to be increased in persons who were tense or were having trouble sleeping. Having trouble sleeping also increased the probability of using OTC tranquilizers and stimulants. Women had a much higher probability of using OTC tranquilizers than men, and men had a higher probability of using stimulants. Non-whites had a higher probability of using tranquilizers than did whites. Stimulants were more likely to be used by younger adults and unmarried adults. Physician utilization, measured by the number of visits to physicians, did not significantly affect OTC drug use.
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