Introduction Nimesulide has been withdrawn from a number of countries. However it continues to be available over the counter in India. Methods A survey of 1460 drug stores and 1531 families in India on their perceptions of the potential side effects of Nimesulide. Results A high proportion (78.96%) of the drug stores sold the drug without prescription from a licensed physician. More than one in four families (26.95%) preferred Nimesulide to other drugs. A relatively small proportion drug store owners and families (12.14% and 9.6% respectively) were aware of the potential adverse effects of this drug. Discussion There is an urgent need to tighten regulation of dangerous drugs freely available to Indian consumers. Further research to increase public awareness about drug side effects is required in order to reduce the potential for harm from under regulation.
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