Self-medication with antibiotics: Questionnaire survey among primary care center attendants

Department of Public Health, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety (Impact Factor: 2.94). 10/2009; 18(12):1150-7. DOI: 10.1002/pds.1829
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and reasons for self-medication with antibiotics within the last 12 months among primary healthcare center attendants aged 18 or over, in Ankara.
A questionnaire was applied by face to face interview technique to 2696 subjects attending at five primary healthcare centers. Information on demographic characteristics, intention to self-medication with antibiotics and self-medication within last 12 months were collected.
It was found that 28% of the subjects were storing antibiotics at home. The percentage of self-administering antibiotics was 19.1% in the last 12 months. The most common reasons for self-administration of antibiotics were sore throat (59.6%), fever (46.2%), and cough (40.0%). Other reasons were dental infection, rheumatism, and fatigue. According to age groups, the most common self-medicating group was those aged 40-49 with 23% while the least self-usage was in the 60-69 age groups with 11.8%. Male sex, being single, educational level of secondary school or higher, being employed and not having social security increased self-administration of antibiotics (p < 0.05).
The study indicated the need for legal regulations regarding the sale of antibiotics without prescription and, health education is required for the community to decrease the inappropriate use of antibiotics and self-medication.

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    • "Viet Nam (12%) and Mongolia (21%) [21–25]. This is also in sharp contrast with reports from Turkey [26], where 19.1% prevalence was reported in antibiotic self medication among primary care attendants. In other studies in European countries, antimicrobial self medication were found to be much lower than 10% in each of 19 European countries spread across east, west, north and southern Europe [27]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Antibiotic self medication is highly prevalent in the developing countries due to easy availability and poor regulatory controls for selling these drugs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics for the treatment of various diseases by the peoples of Rajshahi city in Bangladesh. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted to the patient’s (n = 1300) at eight locations of Rajshahi city in Bangladesh from March to April, 2014. The locations were selected by convenience and the study population within each study area was randomly selected. The survey was self-administered and included questions pertaining to self medicated drugs and antibiotic usage patterns as well. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results It was found that 347 (26.69%) out of 1300 participants experienced self medication with antibiotics. Over fifty percent of the patients studied were between the ages of 21–30 years with 83.57% of them being males and 16.43% females. The highest percentage of self medicated antibiotics was metronidazole (50.43%) followed by azithromycin (20.75%), ciprofloxacin (11.53%), amoxicillin (10.37%) and tetracycline (7.49%) respectively. The key reasons for the self medication of antibiotics was the pre-experience (45.82%), suggestions from others (28.24%) and knowledgeable of the antibiotics (16.14%). The perceived symptoms to purchase the antibiotics independently was dysentery, diarrhea and food poisoning (36.02%), cold, cough and fever (28.24%), infection (12.97%), dental carries and toothache (9.22%), irritable bowel syndrome (3.46%), acne (4.32%), ear and throat pain (2.31%). The duration of maximum antibiotics usage was ranges between 0–10 years. Only 4.32% patient’s used self medicated antibiotics longer than 10 years. The patient’s compliance for self medication of antibiotics varies from excellent to no comments whereas only 6.92% patients reported side effects for the self medication of antibiotics. Conclusions The results of this study confirm that antibiotic self-medication is a relatively frequent problem in Bangladesh. Drug Administration of Bangladesh should implement the regulatory controls immediately on the distribution and selling of antibiotics in order to reduce the frequency of antibiotic misuse.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · BMC Public Health
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    • "Antimicrobial drug self-medication prevalence varies widely among different regions. The prevalence has been reported as 13.0 – 74.6% in population-based studies [21]. In a study from Jordan , 61.5% of respondents thought that antibiotics are OTC drugs [20], in a study from Republic of Srpska, non-prescription antibiotics were dispensed in 76 (58%) pharmacies despite being illegal [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: This research aims to describe the extent of self-medication, assess possible factors associated with it, identify patients' reasons for self-medication and their attitudes towards the role of pharmacists in self-care so that future interventions can be documented and planned. Methods: A cross-sectional study using a questionnaire was conducted. Questionnaires were distributed randomly to 565 persons from all over the West Bank. The questionnaire covered self-medication purchases and experience with minor illnesses. Results: From 565 people approached. 400 (70.8%) agreed to participate in the study Self-medication was reported by 87.0% (n = 348) of cases interviewed, among them 224 (56.0%) used at least one medication without consulting a doctor in the previous month. Analgesics were the most common class used in self-medication by 317 (79.2%) respondents, followed by flu medications (233, 45.3%), and antibiotics (132, 33.0%). The majority reported that they selected medications based on selfdecision and previous use (233, 58.2%). Advice received from pharmacists was another important factor in 216 (54.0%). The most common reasons for self-medication were: their ailments being minor (341, 85.2%) and they had this medical problem before 198 (49.5%). Among 397 respondents, 335 (84.4%) either strongly agreed or agreed that the community pharmacists play an important role in providing advice - when needed - for self-medication. Conclusions: Self-medication practices have been common among people in Palestine. There has been a high rate of using antibiotics without prescription, which requires suitable regulations and interventions to solve this problem. The results have shown a positive attitude towards the role of pharmacists in self-care. Community pharmacists have the potential to make a huge impact in ensuring that medicines are used appropriately.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · International journal of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics
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