Published: 2019-03-23

Knowledge, attitude and practice of in-home medication disposal in U.A.E.

Manal Al Sha’rawy, Shifaa Abdin, Layal Kourbaj, Leena Kamal, Abdelmola R. Abdelkarem, Rana Ibrahim, Suleiman I. Sharif


Background: Medication disposal is one of the topics overlooked by the population in the United Arab Emirates. The present study aims at assessing the knowledge, attitude and practice of public to appropriate disposal of medications in Sharjah, UAE.

Methods: A cross-sectional study on randomly selected subjects was conducted using a pre-piloted questionnaire written in Arabic and English and distributed to 250 subjects. The survey was designed with 22 questions to assess knowledge, attitude and practice on safe disposal of expired medication.

Results: More than half (120, 54.8 %) of the participants were females of age 17-25 (100, 45.7%) and with a university or a higher degree (124, 56.6%). A total of 131 (59.8%) of the participants reported that they do not take any precautions when disposing hazardous products and they just throw them in the general waste. Regardless of their educational level, 90 (41.1%) of the respondents believed that throwing medications in the general waste is the safest way of disposal. The majority of participants (202, 92.3%) reported that they never received counselling from pharmacists on safe disposal of expired and unused medications.

Conclusions: International guidelines on safe medication disposal need to be adopted by health authorities. Providing secure collection boxes in various residential areas and increasing public awareness of medication’s safe disposal are important steps that could be implemented in the UAE. Pharmacists should also play a major role in guiding and instructing patients on this topic.


Disposal, Household chairs, Medications, United Arab Emirates

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