ACCESSIBILITY AND USE OF ANTIBIOTICS AMONG PATIENTS VISITING COMMUNITY PHARMACIES IN BENIN CITY, NIGERIA
Antibiotic resistance is an increasing problem worldwide. Among contributory factors is increasing easy access to antibiotics which is a trend in developing countries. The objective of this study is to determine the accessibility and use of antibiotics. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in eight community pharmacies in Benin City, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. Administrative approval was obtained from the superintendent pharmacists, while informed consent was sought from all study participants. The data obtained from the study were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 22. Of the 450 participants in the study, most [329 (73.11%)] had used antibiotics in the last six months before their current visit to the pharmacy, 207 (46%) of them took the antibiotic without laboratory investigation. Many [274 (60.89%)] of the participants had an antibiotic among the medications they got from the pharmacy on their current visit. More than half [289 (64.22%)] of the participants sometimes got antibiotics without prescription. More Pharmacists recommended antibiotics for participants compared to doctors (44.11%: 24.44%), while more than half of the study population (62.89%) got their antibiotics from pharmacies. Many [295 (65.56%)] of the participants think that the country should regulate antibiotic use. This study has shown that community pharmacy is a major outlet where patients source antibiotics sometimes without a prescription, thus denoting that many patients self-medicate with antibiotics. The need for incorporating community pharmacists in developing guidelines for prescribing and using antibiotics is crucial.
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