Patterns and factors associated with antibiotic self medication among resident undergraduate students at makerere university.
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Background Self-medication among university students is common globally. This has been variably attributed to; highly prevalent minor illnesses within this group that are perceived to not require professional medical management, time constraints, past medical success of self-treatment and easily accessible advice from peers. Self-medication however can lead to detrimental effects if not guided by trained personnel including adverse drug reactions, drug resistance and ultimately death. In order for these challenges to be addressed, knowledge on the patterns and factors associated with antibiotic selfmedication among students should be assessed as this will help policy makers bolster and better implement strategies aimed at slowing down this act. Objectives The objective of this study was to assess the patterns and factors associated with antibiotics self-medication among resident Undergraduate Makerere University Students. The specific objectives were; to assess the patterns of antibiotic self-medication, identify factors associated with antibiotic self-medication, determine common illnesses that are self-medicated with antibiotics and the common antibiotics used in the act. Methods This was a cross sectional study conducted among resident undergraduate students of Makerere University. Data was collected using a semi structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20. Patterns were displayed using percentages and means while the factors associated with antibiotic self-medication were analyzed with logistic regression. Results The study showed a 90.5% prevalence of antibiotics self-medication. The patterns dictate that medical students were found to indulge more in the act of antibiotic self-medication as compared to the non-medical students and the females self-medicating more than the males. In addition, majority of the respondents acquired drugs from community pharmacies (80.5%) followed by leftovers from previous prescriptions (7.8%). The most commonly used antibiotics were amoxicillin (35.6%), Azithromycin (21.0%) and Flagyl (19.5 %). Some of the factors associated with antibiotic self-medication were information from peers (14.1%), advice from family (15.1%), information from a professional worker (47.3%), internet (10.2%) and previous experience (9.3%). No statistically significant association was obtained between college, age, gender and year of study regarding antibiotic self-medication.