Community Pharmacists’ Knowledge towards the Proper Dosing Instructions and Interactions of Alendronate Therapy
Alendronate is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis and other diseases characterized by increased bone resorption. Poor compliance increases the fracture risks, and ultimately treatment failure. This study aims to evaluate Palestinian pharmacist’s knowledge of the proper administration instructions, interactions and side effects of Alendronate as this significantly affect the medical effectiveness and the development of adverse effects. Self- administered questionnaires were completed by 230 pharmacists working in community pharmacies in the northern area of the West Bank. Data were collected using a validated questionnaire consisting of 4 sections and analyzed by descriptive statistics. A scoring scheme was developed to estimate the knowledge scores of participants for the various parameters. The obtained knowledge scores were correlated with the socio-demographics characteristics of the pharmacist's. The median knowledge score of the pharmacists regarding the proper use of Alendronate was moderate i.e., 6 out of a possible maximum score of 9. The knowledge score of Alendronate interactions with food and other medications was 10.5 out of a possible maximum of 14 which is considered as a moderate score, whereas, that for side effects was 4 (0-8). Factors affecting the knowledge towards Alendronate dosing instructions, side effects, and interactions were gender, employment status, years of experience and work place. In conclusion, Palestinian pharmacists have intermediate knowledge about the proper use, drug-food interactions and side effects of Alendronate. Knowledge gaps were identified by this study. Therefore, improving pharmacist's knowledge is of great importance to achieve better efficacy and safety from the treatment.