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

by Ali Hassan Gillani 1,2,3,4, Wenjing Ji 1,2,3,4, Waqar Hussain 5, Ali Imran 6, Jie Chang 1,2,3,4, Caijun Yang 1,2,3,4 and Yu Fang 1,2,3,4,*
1
Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
2
Center for Drug Safety and Policy Research, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
3
The Global Health Institute, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China
4
Shaanxi Centre for Health Reform and Development Research, Xi’an 710061, China
5
Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, Multan 66000, Pakistan
6
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lahore, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101152
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
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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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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