Self-medication with antibiotics in the ambulatory care setting within the Euro-Mediterranean region; results from the ARMed project

Elizabeth Anne Scicluna, Michael A. Borg, Deniz Gür, Ossama Rasslan, Ibrahim Taher, Saida Ben Redjeb, Ziad Elnassar, Despo Pieridou Bagatzouni, Ziad Daoud
2009 Journal of Infection and Public Health  
Anecdotal data from the southern and eastern Mediterranean region suggests that self-medication with antibiotics is commonly practiced in many countries. In order to provide proper information on the situation, we undertook short structured interviews in out-patients clinics or primary health centres in Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and Turkey. A total of 2109 interviews were undertaken of which 1705 completed the full questionnaire. Self-medication was reported by 19.1% (<0.1%
more » ... ted by 19.1% (<0.1% in Cyprus to 37% in Lebanon) of respondents. Intended selfmedication ranged from 1.3% (95% CI 0%, 3%) in Cyprus to 70.7% (95% CI 64%, 77%) in Jordan. Upper respiratory tract symptoms were the most frequent reasons for which respondents indicated they would self-medicate. 48.4% of the whole group replied that they kept antibiotics at home, being highest in Lebanon (60%, 95% CI 51%, 69%). We found a significant association between antibiotic hoarders and intended users of antibiotics for self-medication. Our data confirms that non-prescribed antibiotic use is high within ambulatory care in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, being almost twice that reported in a similar European study. Corrective efforts are * Corresponding author. Tel.: +356 2545 4554; fax: +356 2545 4541. E-mail address: elizabeth.a.scicluna@gov.mt (E.A. Scicluna). E.A. Scicluna et al. clearly required in the region to ensure proper use of antimicrobials so as to reduce pressure for antimicrobial resistance.
doi:10.1016/j.jiph.2009.09.004 pmid:20701882 fatcat:p7mdegwifvazbj57lsemmvnqoe