Purpose: Analgesics (painkillers) are one of the most widely used medications to reduce and control pain. The objective of this study was to investigate the self-medication with analgesics (narcotic or non-narcotic) in controlling odontogenic pain in patients visiting dental offices, dental clinics, and the dental school of Kerman.
Keywords: analgesic, dentistry, narcotic, odontogenic pain, self-medication
Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive-analytic study, conducted in 2018. The study sample included patients referring to dental offices, dental clinics and the dental school of Kerman. After obtaining informed consent, a questionnaire consisting of demographic data and questions regarding the consumption of different types of analgesics for relieving and controlling odontogenic pain and their impact on patients was given by the researcher to the respondents. The patients were asked to complete and return the forms. The questionnaire consisted of three categories of questions, including demographic data, pain characteristics (severity, aggravating factors, relieving factors, etc) and the drug used to relieve the pain. Pain severity was measured using a visual analogue scale (VAS). Mann-Whitney and chi-squared tests were used for statistical analysis in SPSS.
Results: This study included 230 males and 351 females (male:female ratio = 0.66) in the age range of 18 to 71 years old (38.21 ± 7.45). 2.6% of respondents were illiterate and 11.3% of respondents were unemployed. The mean value of pain intensity was 6.21 ± 1.11 on a scale of 1 to 10. The types of drugs used for pain relief included 71.8% analgesics, 12.1% complementary medicines and 16.1% antibiotics. The most commonly used medication was NSAIDS, followed by acetaminophen codeine. In this study, the fourth most common medication consumed by patients as an analgesic was amoxicillin. Moreover, it showed that 44.3% (257 individuals) of study participants had used analgesics as self-medication to relieve odontogenic pain, of which 46.08% were males (N = 107) and 42.68% were females (N = 150). The gender of respondents, level of education, and occupation were significantly associated with the consumption of opioid drugs (p = 0.023, p = 0.041, p = 0.011, respectively). Consumption of opioid medications was not statistically significantly correlated with pain intensity (p = 0.115).
Conclusion: The factors affecting the appropriate use of medications are social, economic, cultural, and flaws in the health-care system of a society. This study showed that the medications used to reduce pain included analgesics, traditional drugs, and antibiotics. The rate of self-medication was higher among men and among those having a higher level of education.