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Over-the-counter drug sales see surge amid third wave of COVID-19 in Karnataka

Sale of OTC medicines has increased manifold in Bengaluru from December 15, while in other districts the trend has been noticed for the last 15 days.

Published: 21st January 2022 05:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st January 2022 05:50 AM   |  A+A-

Healthcare workers collect swab samples of people at KR Market amid rising cases in Bengaluru

Healthcare workers collect swab samples of people at KR Market amid rising cases in Bengaluru. (Photo| Vinod Kumar T, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU : The sales of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs have shot up significantly during the third wave, especially that of Dolo-650 and paracetamol, said members of the Karnataka chemists and 
druggists' association (KCDA) on Wednesday.

The sale of Dolo-650 has multiplied by almost 40 per cent to 45 per cent along with paracetamol, sold only when prescribed by a doctor, chemists said. They also said the sale of Vitamin C tablets, earlier negligible, is now high.

Sale of OTC medicines has increased manifold in Bengaluru from December 15, while in other districts the trend has been noticed for the last 15 days. Vitamin C and paracetamol sales have rocketed in the border districts of Belagavi and Mangaluru mainly due to purchases by people from Maharashtra and Kerala. 

Kalaburagi also saw high medicine sales as chemists are getting customers from Yadgir, which borders Andhra Pradesh. Association Secretary Jeevan AK told The New Indian Express that in the first and second waves, the sale was not very high because of multiple reasons-more people were admitted to hospitals and many had left cities for their home towns and had more access to hospitals.

"As the government has said people need not rush to hospitals for common cold and cough, the rush at chemists has increased. Chemists are also playing the role of doctors in advising and prescribing medicines. The sale of Dolo has shot up because people know the name and it is commonly used. Sales of Vitamin C tablets have gone up as people know there are no side-effects and they are purchasing in bulk," he said.

Bengaluru weather also pushes sales of cold, cough and fever OTC drug sales higher. "Normally during December-January, there is a rise in the sale of these medicines. But now as a precaution, those with the slightest symptoms are taking paracetamol and cold, cough medicines and syrups. This is now unusual and worrisome," said a pharmacist and member of the Bengaluru Drugs and Chemists' Association.

Jeevan expressed concern that side effects due to high consumption of paracetamol and tablets are not being accounted for. 



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