Drug Information Provided by Pharmacists; Does It Meet Parents of Autistic Children’s Needs?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a chronic lifelong neurodevelopmental disability. Medications
such as; atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants, stimulant, anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, and hypnotic
are frequently used in autism to treat coexisting medical or behavioral problems, for instance;
aggression, depression, hyperactivity, sleep disorder, and anxiety. Parents usually depend on
pharmacists as the primary source of drug-related information.
The pharmacists’ role is critical in the treatment plan. They provide the parents with essential
information about the safe use of medication prescribed to their children.
Study Objectives: To assess the extent of drug information delivered by pharmacist to parents.
To explore other drug information resources used by parents and to explore the influences of these
resources on parent’s decisions in using medication.
Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 2016. A survey
questionnaire used to assess parent’s perceptions about drug information resources. One hundred
responders filled the questionnaire.
Results: 28.72% of information delivered by pharmacists, 17.20% of parents received information
about side effects, in which 15.30% were informed by the pharmacist how to deal with the side effect.
Conclusion: The information delivered by the pharmacist to parents of ASD children about
prescribed medications usage and the side effect is hugely insufficient, and this can affect the safety
measures during medication use that could increase opportunities for medication errors and harmful

Author (s) Details

Abeer M. Alharbi
Department of Pediatrics, King Abdullah Specialist Children Hospital, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs (MNG-HA), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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