Sildenafil citrate use in Addis Ababa: characteristics of users and pharmacists’ dispensing practices
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Background Studies have reported misuse of sildenafil citrate for recreational purpose, not least by healthy young men. This is becoming a major concern, for medical and other reasons. Objective The aim of this study was to document the characteristics of sildenafil citrate users and to explore the dispensing practices of the medicine in selected community pharmacies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Setting Data was collected in community pharmacies in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Method A survey, using a self-administrated questionnaire, was conducted among customers who purchased sildenafil citrate from community pharmacies. Simple descriptive statistics were used to analyse data. Also, semi-structured interviews were conducted with community pharmacists. These were analysed thematically. Main outcome measures Socio-demographic characteristics (survey), themes (interviews). Results All survey respondents (n = 197) were men, 57.9% were below 40 years old, 53.8% had never been married and 58.4% had used sildenafil citrate before. A minority (16.2%) were diagnosed with erectile dysfunction. The main reason for buying sildenafil citrate was experimentation (45.7%). Pharmacists reported that sildenafil citrate was often dispensed without a prescription. The reason for this was, according to the interviewees, competition in the market. Also, the medicine was often dispensed without adequate information or counselling. Conclusions Selling and buying sildenafil citrate without a prescription seems to be common practice in pharmacies in Addis Ababa. It is crucial to strengthen the regulatory activity to protect customers from health risks. In addition pharmacy professionals should be supported to work in accordance with professional and legal standards.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy Erectile dysfunction Ethiopia Misuse Sildenafil citrate
The authors would like to acknowledge the invaluable contribution of all community pharmacies and professionals who participated in data collection, and all respondents in both surveys and interviews.
This study did not receive any funding.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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