Document Type: Original Articles
Professor of Community Medicine, Department of Community
Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.
Student Research Center,
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences,
Department of Community Medicine,
Shiraz University of Medical Sciences,
Background: Nowadays, self-medication of therapeutic agents is of global concern particularly in developing and underdeveloped countries. Some studies conducted in Iran showed that the frequency of self-medication was significant. Objective: This research was conducted to estimate the prevalence of arbitrary use of antibiotics in Shiraz community with special interest in its determinant factors. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in Shiraz, in 2009. Approximately 710 out of all patients referred to all health care centers in Shiraz were selected to fill out a questionnaire containing 23 questions divided into two parts. The frequency of self-medication according to demographic factors was described and the association between independent variables and selfmedication was analyzed. Results: The frequency of self-medication in this study was 44.5% and the request to prescribe antibiotics by the patients was 53.5%. Amoxicillin was the most widely used drug by the participants. There was a significant association between age and gender with self-medication. The frequent cause for self-medication was common cold. Approximately, 74.4% of the participants reported their previous experience as the main reason for self-medication. Conclusion: The results of this survey demonstrated the high frequency of self-medication in Shiraz. Socio-cultural determinants are the etiologic factors for self-medication. Policy makers are recommended to provide community-wide educational programs to make people aware about the adverse effects of self-medication. There was a significant association between age, gender and education with self-medication and governments could pay more attention to these factors for designing the interventional programs.
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