Unforeseen uses of oral contraceptive pills: Exploratory study in Jordanian community pharmacies

Muna Barakat, Raja’a Al-Qudah, Amal Akour, Najem Al-Qudah, Yahya H. Dallal Bashi

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The use of oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) as a birth control method is very common worldwide. OCPs have many other labeled non-contraceptive indications, and as a result there is an associated risk of improper use, as with any other medications. This study was designed to assess the unforeseen improper uses of OCPs observed by community pharmacists in Jordan.
A cross-sectional study design was conducted using a self-administered survey. A convenience sample (n = 380) of Jordanian community pharmacists, were recruited through social media resources. The survey included multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Descriptive statistics and correlation analyses were completed using SPSS.
More than half of the recruited pharmacists (55.3%) were female, and the mean age of the participants was 32.58 ± 9.94. The majority of the pharmacists (85%) had good knowledge about the non-contraceptive indications of OCPs. About 53% of them confirmed their exposure to cases of the improper use of OCPs. About 67.5% of the pharmacists who confirmed exposure to such cases, reported the topical use of OCPs for the enhancement of hair growth. Around 15% of those pharmacists stated that OCPs were used to give negative results for addictive drug screening tests. In the event that the pharmacists suspected improper use, more than 90% suggested they would refrain from dispensing the pills.
This study has spotlighted many unforeseen uses of OCPs in Jordan and highlighted the need for restricted national regulations on the monitoring of OCP prescription/selling patterns in Jordan by policymakers. Moreover, there is a need for the establishment of national educational programs for the Jordanian community regarding the safe proper use of OCPs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0244373
Number of pages14
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2020


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