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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 82-85

Public knowledge and awareness about food–drug interactions in the northern border region, Saudi Arabia

Department of Clinical Nutrition, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Northern Border University, Arar, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Nasser Salem Alqahtani
Department of Clinical Nutrition, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Northern Border University, PO Box 1321, Arar
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/KKUJHS.KKUJHS_27_20

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Background: Food–drug interactions (FDIs) are underreported which could be due to a variety of factors such as lack of food history, follow-ups, or unawareness. Objective: The present study intended to investigate the degree of existing knowledge and awareness of FDIs among the Saudi people. Methodology: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in the Northern Border Region, Arar city of Saudi, among a random convenient sample of 223 people. Voluntary participants filled a predesigned self-administered questionnaire comprising 22 close-ended questions and 1 open-ended question. Data were collected for a duration of 2 months and descriptive analysis was performed to obtain frequencies of responses. Results: The overall response rate was 89% with a larger number of females and 79% belonging to the 20–30 age group. Of the study population, only 6% reported having experienced such FDIs at least once in their lifetime. Almost 97% believe that they should read the label of any drug before consuming it. More than half of the participants (52%) agreed that acidic foods and beverages such as tomato sauce, tea, coffee, and citrus juices affect drug absorption and may cause food/drug interaction. About 62% believe that alcohol and drugs should never be clubbed. Conclusion: It is hereby shown that FDIs' awareness and knowledge were poor among the Saudi population. This, however, can be addressed as a high proportion of respondents had a positive attitude toward reading the drug label before use.

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