American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
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American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2013, 1(5), 96-99
DOI: 10.12691/ajps-1-5-5
Open AccessArticle

Antibiotics Use With and Without a Prescription in Healthcare Students

Suleiman Ibrahim Sharif1, and Rubian Suleiman Sharif2

1Department of Pharmacy Practice & Pharmacotherapeutics, College of Pharmacy-University of Sharjah- United Arab Emirates

2Faculty of Dentistry, Ajman University of Science & Technology, Ajman-United Arab Emirates

Pub. Date: December 15, 2013

Cite this paper:
Suleiman Ibrahim Sharif and Rubian Suleiman Sharif. Antibiotics Use With and Without a Prescription in Healthcare Students. American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2013; 1(5):96-99. doi: 10.12691/ajps-1-5-5


The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics in pharmacy and dental students as compared to their prescribed use. A pre-validated questionnaire was distributed to 300 students in the class rooms and students were asked to report antibiotic use with or without prescription in the year 2012. The questions covered demographic information as well as frequency of antibiotic use, completion of course, condition for which it was used and type of antibiotic used. The response rate was 73%. The majority of students (179, 89.5%) were females and the average age was 20.4 years (range 18-23). Prevalence of antibiotic use with and without a prescription was high (40 %). The pharmacy was the main source where the majority (slightly more than 90%) obtained antibiotics. The course of antibiotic was completed by larger number of respondents with (75.3%) than without (632.5%) prescriptions. Influenza, upper respiratory tract infection, skin conditions, gastrointestinal problems and urinary tract infection were the conditions for which antibiotics were used. The most common antibiotics used were amoxicillin, amoxicillin- clavulinic acid, and penicillin. Basis for using antibiotics without a prescription include previous experience (24, 12%), doctors advice on last visit (25.8%), pharmacist advice (21.4 %) and advice of a friend/relative (20.2 %). The results clearly demonstrate high prevalence of antibiotic use with and without prescriptions. Irrational use of antibiotics is common among university students and require effective interventions directed to increase students awareness of the problems associated with such a trend. Educational programs should be instituted to increase awareness of students, the prescribing physicians and the pharmacists of responsible self-medication in general and rational antibiotic use.

antibiotics self-medication students

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