Journal of Family & Community Medicine
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-101

Self-medication with antibiotics in a primary care setting in King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Family and Community Medicine, Prince Sultan Military Medical Center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed A Al-Qahtani
Department of Public Health, General Directorate of Health Affairs, P.O. Box: 340899, Riyadh 11333
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_124_17

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OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study are to estimate the prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics in King Khalid University Hospital population and evaluate the factors affecting this behavior. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at King Khalid university hospital from April to May 2016. A pretested self-administered questionnaire was handed to a random selection of 519 patients attending the primary care clinics . Data were entered into Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and sent to SPSS version 20 for analysis. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were applied. RESULTS: The prevalence rate of self-medication with antibiotics was 40.8%. Older patients and males were most likely to use antibiotics without a prescription. The most common illnesses that made patients use antibiotics was upper respiratory tract infections (73.2%). Commercial pharmacies were the major source 82.8%. Only 27.8% patients consulted their physicians for the correct dosage . The previous experience with a similar illness (67.2%) and difficulty in obtaining medical help (29.3%) were the most common reasons for self-administration of antibiotics. Improved health condition (57.8%) was the main reason for stopping the use of antibiotics while lack of improvement in health status led to a shift to another antibiotic in 62.5% of the respondents. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of using antibiotics without a prescription is relatively high. Proper education of the public on the dangers of the misuse of antibiotics through the media might help to reduce this practice.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
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