ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 EVALUATION OF THE KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES (KAP) OF COMMUNITY PHARMACISTS TOWARDS HERBAL MEDICINAL PRODUCTS (HMPs) IN SOME SOUTH-SOUTH STATES OF NIGERIA Bolajoko .A. Aina1*,  Ekpedeme E Ndem2 and  Glory .O. Ajayi3

 1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Lagos. 2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Uyo, Uyo. 3 Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Lagos. *Corresponding author  bolajokoaina@yahoo.com ,  08023091623

ABSTRACT

Background

The global increase in the use of herbal drugs partly stems from the misconception that natural means “safe or risk-free”. In order to provide optimal pharmaceutical care to patients taking herbal medicinal products (HMPs), pharmacists who are the link between patients and medications need to be versed in the pharmacology, safety and counselling on rational use of herbal products.

The objectives of this study were to assess the knowledge, attitude and counselling practices of community pharmacists towards HMPs.

Methods

The study was carried out in Community pharmacies in the capital of 3 states in South- South zone of Nigeria.

Data was collected using self-administered questionnaires which were distributed to community pharmacists in the capital of three (3) states of the South-South zone of Nigeria Uyo, Calabar and Port Harcourt. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 17.  Descriptive statistics were used to quantify the major findings of the study. Responses from the 3 states were compared using t-test, ANOVA and chi square where appropriate.

Results

Most community pharmacists sold HMPs and confirmed that clients seek information on these products which pharmacists should provide. There was limited knowledge especially in the area of dosage, side effect and interactions of some selected HMPs (Gingko, Garlic and Ginseng) but knowledge of indication was quite high.   The few respondents (16%) that had some post-graduation training had better knowledge of HMPs than others. An overwhelming 88% of the respondents were interested in updating their knowledge of HMPs. There was deficiency in regulation and safety monitoring of HMPs. A significant difference in counselling patterns existed between orthodox drugs and HMPs (p<0.05). There was no significant difference in the knowledge and counselling patterns of pharmacists in the 3 state capitals (P>0.05).

Conclusion

Community pharmacists have limited knowledge of HMPs but are eager to update their knowledge. Patients on orthodox drugs receive better counselling than those on HMPs. The knowledge and counselling patterns of pharmacists in the different states are similar. There is urgent need to embrace herbal pharmacovigilance.

Keywords: Community Pharmacists, herbal medicinal products, knowledge, South-South zone, Nigeria

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