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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 42-45
Prevalence and pattern of antibiotic self-medication practice in an urban population of Kerala, India: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of General Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kiran George Kulirankal
Assistant Professor, Department of General Medicine, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijcm.IJCM_33_19

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Background: Self-medication involves the use of medicinal products by a consumer to treat self-recognized disorders or symptoms or intermittent or continued use of a medication prescribed by a physician for chronic or recurring diseases or symptoms. Practicing self-medication for antibiotics is a major factor fueling the emergence of drug resistance. This study would help health-care providers in creating public awareness on the dangers of antibiotic abuse. Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence and pattern of antibiotic self-medication in an urban population of Kerala. Materials and Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out in Thrippunithura municipality, Kerala. Data were collected from 755 adults by face-to-face interview using a questionnaire after obtaining consent. Data were entered in Excel and were analyzed using SPSS. Results: The percentage of respondents who practiced antibiotic self-medication was 3.31%. Males (4.1%), graduates (3.8%), and skilled workers (8.5%) were found to practice antibiotic self-medication. Majority took self-medication for sore throat (25%). Azithromycin (39%) was the major antibiotic used. Among the respondents, 36% used doctor's previous prescription to get antibiotics. The reason for antibiotic self-medication reported by majority was convenience (41%). Conclusion: Health education must be given to graduates and professionals, highlighting the problems due to antibiotic self-medication. With danger of antibiotic resistance developing, this is a major threat that has to be addressed urgently.

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