OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to measure the attitude and practice of Kuwaiti patients in Kuwait with regard to safe disposal of unwanted medicines. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Three-hundred patients or their family members waiting for prescriptions at public general hospitals in Kuwait completed a questionnaire soliciting their practice with regard to medication use and disposal, and their opinion of the best way to dispose of unwanted medicines. RESULTS: Almost half of the respondents (45.4%) obtained medicines on prescription more than 3 times a year and almost all had unwanted medicines in the home. Reasons for possessing unused medication were mostly due to a change of medication by the doctor (48.9%), or self-discontinuation (25.8%). Their most common method of disposal was to throw unwanted medicines in the trash (76.5%) or flush them down the drain (11.2%). Half (54.0%) thought that a system of taking medicines to pharmacies for safe disposal would be favorable. CONCLUSION: The study indicates that the need for an appropriate method for disposal of unwanted medication exists in Kuwait. Hence, guidelines on safe disposal of unwanted medicines are required and an organized method of collecting unused medication needs to be introduced.
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