Socio-economic differences in prescription and OTC drug use in Dutch adolescents

Pharm World Sci. 2003 Oct;25(5):203-6. doi: 10.1023/a:1025836704150.


Objective: To detect whether there were socio-economic differences in the overall use of prescription and OCT drugs among adolescents.

Methods: This study was a secondary analysis of questionnaire data collected to investigate socio-economic differences in health risk behaviour and decision-making.

Results: About 20% of the 741 girls and 10% of the 736 boys reported using at least one prescription drug in the past 14 days, oral contraceptives excluded. For OTC drugs these percentages were 45% and 24%, respectively. No statistically significant socio-economic differences in prescription drug use could be detected. A higher socio-economic status was associated with an increased OTC drug use, especially in boys. The odds of girls who reported medication was about twice that for boys, after adjusting for perceived health and socio-economic status.

Conclusion: There were socio-economic differences with regard to OTC drug use. No socio-economic differences in prescription medication use could be found. There were gender differences with respect to medication use in adolescence, regardless of perceived health and socio-economic status.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Nonprescription Drugs*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Assessment
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Nonprescription Drugs