Title: THE KNOWLEDGE OF MEDICAL AND PHARMACY STUDENTS ON ANTIBIOTICS
Author(s): Ahmed Atia
A survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of antibiotics self-medication among university medical and pharmacy students in Tripoli city. A pre-validated questionnaire was distributed to 300 students at Tripoli University [Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine] and students were asked to report antibiotic use with or without prescription in the year 2016.The questions covered demographic information as well as the frequency of antibiotic use, completion of course, condition for which it was used and type of antibiotic used. A total of 252 forms were completed and returned (response rate 84%). The majority of students were females (238, 94.4%) and the average age was 22.7 years (range 18-25). Prevalence of antibiotic use with and without a prescription was high (99.2 %). The pharmacy was the main source where the majority obtained antibiotics (82.5%). The course of antibiotic was completed by larger number of respondents with prescription (72%). Influenza, upper respiratory tract infection, gastrointestinal disorders, skin conditions and urinary tract infection were the conditions for which antibiotics were used. The most common antibiotics used were amoxicillin, amoxicillin- clavulinic acid, and cefixime. The basis for using antibiotics without a prescription include previous experience (28.3%), doctor advice on last visit (35.6%), pharmacist advice (23.7%), and advice of a friend/relative (12.4 %). The results clearly show high prevalence of antibiotic use with and without prescriptions. Irrational use of antibiotics is common among university students and need effective interventions directed to increase students understanding of the problems associated with such practice. Educational programs should be established to increase awareness of students, the prescribing physicians and the pharmacists of responsible self-medication in general and rational antibiotic use.
KEYWORDS: Antibiotics – self-medication – misuse – students – Libya.