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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 238-242

The phenomenon of giving hypnotic medications to children without a therapeutic purpose

1 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Hail, Saudi Arabia
2 Student in, Faculty of Pharmacy University of Hail, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mhdia Elhadi Osman
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Hail, P.O. Box 2440, Hail
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ajprhc.ajprhc_53_22

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Background: The antihistamines such as chlorpheniramine malate, triprolidine, and pseudoephedrine cause sedation and are prescribed for insomnia as a first-line drug. Some mothers in Saudi Arabia reported using these medications for their children to induce and regulate sleep without prescription. This unnecessary and dangerous practice can cause serious side effects. Objective: The research aimed to discover the prevalence of sedative medication use among children in Saudi Arabia and evaluation of the mother's awareness of the seriousness of these medications' effects. This research also aimed to provide natural alternatives. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study has been conducted using a structured online questionnaire. The survey has been performed to identify the views of mothers on the subject and the reasons for their use of medicines and the most widely used drugs, dosage, and side effects. Fifty responses were collected from mothers and evaluated using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Results: Most participants use sedative drugs to keep their children calm and in a deep sleep with ignorance and a lack of awareness of their serious side effects. We strongly encourage the initiation of awareness campaigns using pamphlets and other platforms including messages. Conclusion: Mothers, mainly working women, tend to use hypnotic medication for their children without a therapeutic indication. This practice needs to be stopped by awareness campaigns using both traditional and electronic formats.

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