Wednesday 26 June 2019

Irish women ‘significantly more likely’ than men to use over-the-counter medicine

Irish women are “significantly more likely” than men to use over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, according to a study by Perrigo*, an Irish pharmaceutical company that specialises in affordable healthcare products.

The survey was carried out on 1,000 Irish adults and found that females, across all age groups, are more likely to use OTC medicine to treat various symptoms and minor illness than males. This is because women generally prefer to take control of their own healthcare when struck down with a minor illness.

Up to 51pc of women surveyed said they would rather be heavily involved in every aspect of their healthcare and like to work closely with medical professionals to find the best treatment, compared with just 40pc of men.

Meanwhile, up to 48pc of those surveyed stated they like to be “somewhat involved” in managing their own healthcare and trust medical professionals to do the best job. Just 7pc of people stated that they don’t like to be involved at all and would rather hand over the duty of care to their healthcare professional.

The study also found that the majority of Irish consumers would rather avoid taking prescription medication and antibiotics where possible. A whopping 70pc of Irish consumers stated that they would prefer to use OTC medicine if appropriate to their illness.

Over four-in-10 Irish consumers are buying OTC medicine a couple of times per month or more. In terms of age, this is significantly higher among those aged 35-44 (54pc) and people with children (56pc), while those aged 55+ are less likely to purchase them (34 pc). 

The symptoms that OTC medicines are most commonly used to treat are colds or flus, headaches, sore throats and coughs. The symptoms that people are least likely to treat with OTCs are migraine, sinus pain, indigestion and fever - that’s because people would prefer to “consult their GP to get advice on what medicine they should use to treat these illness”.

It’s important to note that over-the-counter medication should only be taken at the advice of your pharmacist. Pharmacists can advise patients of all possible side effects, how long to take the medication for, what patients should do if they forget to take their medication and how it could interact with any other medication they’re taking.

Perrigo is a global over-the-counter consumer goods and pharmaceutical business offering consumers and customers high quality products at affordable prices. It’s the world’s largest manufacturer of over-the-counter products and supplier of infant formulas for the store brand market. It is headquartered in Ireland.

As a global business, Perrigo is committed to providing quality affordable healthcare products to consumers. Ask your pharmacist about the new Perrigo products range or visit the website to find out more.

Sponsored by: Perrigo

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