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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101152

Antibiotic Self-Medication among Non-Medical University Students in Punjab, Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Survey

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Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
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Center for Drug Safety and Policy Research, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
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The Global Health Institute, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
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Shaanxi Centre for Health Reform and Development Research, Xi’an 710061, China
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Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Multan 66000, Pakistan
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Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lahore, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
Full-Text   |   PDF [474 KB, uploaded 29 September 2017]   |  

Abstract

Background: Antibiotic resistance is a global threat. Scarce knowledge about safe and appropriate antibiotic use is coupled with frequent self-administration, e.g., in China. This repeated self-medication poses potential risk in terms of antibiotic resistance. Low-resource countries are facing an elevated burden of antibiotic self-medication as compared to developed ones. Thus, this study focused on evaluating the pervasiveness of antibiotic self-medication in 3 universities of Southern Punjab, Pakistan. Methods: We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional survey in three government sector universities of Southern Punjab, Pakistan. The study was carried out with self-administered paper-based questionnaires. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 18.0 (IBM, Chicago, IL, USA). Results: Seven hundred twenty-seven students out of 750 (response rate 97%) with a mean age ± SD of 23.0 ± 3.4 years agreed to participate in the study. The proportion of females was slightly greater (52%) compared with males (48%), and almost one-third of the respondents (36%) were in their 2nd year of university. Out of the total, 58.3% practiced self-medication in the preceding six months, and 326 (45%) confirmed the use of antibiotics. Metronidazole was the most frequently self-medicated antibiotic (48%). Out of the total, 72% demonstrated awareness regarding the side effects of antibiotics. Diarrhea was the well-known adverse effect (38%). Forty-three percent affirmed having antibiotic resistance knowledge, and 30% knew that the irregular use of antibiotics would lead to increased antibiotic resistance. Conclusion: Despite having ample awareness of the adverse antibiotic reactions, self-medication among the university students was high and antibiotic resistance was a fairly unknown term. View Full-Text
Keywords: self-medication; antibiotics; side effect; resistance self-medication; antibiotics; side effect; resistance
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Gillani, A.H.; Ji, W.; Hussain, W.; Imran, A.; Chang, J.; Yang, C.; Fang, Y. Antibiotic Self-Medication among Non-Medical University Students in Punjab, Pakistan: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1152.

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