Archive \ Volume.6 2015 Issue 4

Parents’ knowledge and attitude to self‑medication of children with antibiotics

Suleiman Ibrahim Sharif , Bara’ah E. M. Masalmeh , Hoda M. A. Awad , Ala Osama , Yousra A. A. Abdulmqasood , Laila M. T. Bugaighis

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of self‑medication with antibiotics in children. Materials and Methods: This study was based on a prevalidated questionnaire distributed to 205 families in the United Arab Emirates, during the period of January‑October 2014, on self‑medication of their children with antibiotics. Data were collected and analyzed using Microsoft Excel® and expressed in terms of both counts and percentages. Results: The response rate was 92.7% most respondents were well educated, and with university degrees and 45 (23.7%) participants were working in the medical field or attained a medical background. The majority of children were between 1 and 12 years of age, and the family’s monthly income ranged from moderate to high for most of the participants. Community pharmacy was the main source (152, 80%) of antibiotics, and the main source of information was the pharmacists, followed by doctors and medication leaflets. Reasons for self‑medication with antibiotics included previous experience with symptoms (100, 52.6%), and minor illness (67, 35.3%). The majority (141, 74.2%) of participants was aware of consequences of antibiotic misuse and bacterial resistance. The most commonly utilized antibiotic for self‑medication was an amoxicillin ‑ clavulanic acid combination. Antibiotics were most commonly used without prescription for respiratory symptoms including sore throat (104, 54.7%), cold/flu (85, 44.7%), and runny nose/nasal congestion (56, 29.5%). Conclusion: Antibiotics are still used for conditions which are viral in origin and parents, misconceptions about antibiotics call for organized