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Arwa H. A.Elhada*, Idris B. Eltayeb, Mahmoud M. E. Mudawi


Aim: Self-medication is becoming a field of interest for research, but yet no much data are currently available about its major determinants. This study was aimed at determining the proportion of general population who practice self-medication with Antibiotics, the type of Antibiotic employed and the reasons for resorting to self-medication with Antibiotics. Methods: This cross- sectional survey used a pre-tested questionnaire to collect data from a sample of 442 adult persons, selected from the seven provinces of Khartoum State, Sudan, using a multistage stratified clustered sampling. Results: A total of 442 questionnaires were analyzed. The prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics during the 6 month prior to the study was 41%. Amoxicillin was the most popular (38%) antibiotic for self-medication besides erythromycin, tetracycline, and ciprofloxacin to treat the following symptoms: cough and sore throat, common-colds, skin infections, gastrointestinal infections and urinary tract infections with the length of use was mostly less than five days. Pharmacies were the most common source of antibiotics used for selfmedication (72%). Previous experience was reported to be the main reason for using nonprescribed antibiotics (50%). There were no socio-demographic variables significantly associated with the actual practice of using non-prescribed antibiotics. However, health insurance, marital status, occupation and level of education were significantly associated with the intent to self-medicate with antibiotics (p < 0.05). Having no health insurance, being single, is associated with the intent to self-medicate with antibiotics. It's surprising that despite being educated, most of those who self-medicated were university graduates and university students. Conclusion: Given the findings, factors influencing people's intentions to self-medicate with antibiotics are required to be investigated to better understand such behavior. Impact of health insurance coverage on self-medication with antibiotics should also be further investigated.

Keywords: Self-medication, antibiotics, Amoxicillin, cough.

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