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The practice of self-medication with antibacterial drugs among the rural population of Greece - the results of a cross-sectional multicenter study

Self-medication is an important reason for the excessive and unreasonable use of antibacterial drugs, which, of course, is a global problem. The study, carried out in Greece, aimed to analyze the frequency of use of antibacterial drugs without a medical prescription among representatives of the rural population who, for one reason or another, asked to receive first aid.

The study involved 1,139 randomly selected representatives of the adult population who sought medical help in 6 medical facilities in southern Greece for the period from November 2009 to January 2010. The average age of participants in the study was 56.2 ± 19.8 years, 545 men and 594 women. At the researchers' request, the patients anonymously answered the questions in the questionnaires he proposed.

After analyzing the responses to the questions, it turned out that 888 respondents (77.9%) have used antibacterial drugs in the past 12 months. 508 patients (44.6%) reported at least 1 episode of self-treatment with antibacterial drugs without a doctor's recommendation. According to the majority of respondents (76.2% of respondents), the main source of information on the drugs needed was the network of pharmacies. The most commonly used are amoxicillin (18.3%), amoxicillin / clavulanate (15.4%), cefaclor (9.7%), cefuroxime (7.9%), cefprosil (4, 7%) and ciprofloxacin (2.3%), and the main reasons respondents used self-medication with antibacterial drugs were fever (41.2%), colds (32.0%) and tonsillitis (20.6%).

Thus, despite the openness and accessibility of first aid in Greece, it turned out that a large part of the adult population in rural areas uses antibacterial drugs without a medical prescription, mainly for fever and colds.