Pharmacy World & Science

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 530–535 | Cite as

Extent of storage and wastage of antibacterial agents in Palestinian households

  • Ansam SawalhaEmail author
Research article


Objective Inappropriate use of antibacterial agents may lead to drug wastage and potential therapeutic failures in the future. The objective of this study was to investigate the extent of storage, and wastage of antibacterial agents in households in Palestine. Method This was a cross sectional, questionnaire-based study of households in northern Palestine. Any antibacterial agents present in the surveyed households were investigated and family members were interviewed. Main outcome measure Number and type of antibacterial agents stored in each household. Results The total number of antibacterial agents in the 465 surveyed households was 641, constituting 11.3% of the total stored medications. The average number of antibacterial agents was 1.4 ± 1.74 per household. The most common antibacterial agents encountered were amoxicillin (29.5%) and amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (11.6%). Family size (P < 0.001), total number of stored medications (P < 0.001), and presence of elderly residents (>65 years) (P < 0.001) were significantly associated with the presence of antibacterial agents. Furthermore, the level of parental education was significantly and positively (P = 0.009, r = 0.128; P = 0.013, r = 0.122 for father and mother respectively) correlated with the number of antibacterial agents found in the households. More than one-third (37.4%) of antibacterial agents were stored within the reach of children. Wasted antibacterial agents, defined as those which had expired or those with no clear expiry date were 16.4 and 10.1%, respectively. The percentage of antibacterial agents that were not currently in use was 69.3%. Estimated total value of antibacterial agents found in the study was $4,769, approximately $11.5 per household. The total wastage of antibacterial agents was valued at $2,790, approximately $6.7 per household. Conclusion Antibacterial agents were commonly encountered in Palestinian households, and a relatively large percentage was being wasted.


Antibacterial agents ATC system Cost Household Palestine Storage Utilisation Wastage 



The author would like to acknowledge An-Najah National University pharmacy students for their help in accomplishing this project.


No funding was available for this project.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest directly relevant to the content of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Poison and Drug Information center (PCDIC), An-Najah National UniversityNablusPalestine

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