International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 319–327 | Cite as

Assessment of self-medication in population buying antibiotics in pharmacies: a pilot study from Beirut and its suburbs

  • Lina Cheaito
  • Sophie Azizi
  • Nadine SalehEmail author
  • Pascale Salameh
Original Article



This study was performed to assess self-medication with antibiotics (ATB) in the general population and its associated factors.


Face to face interviews using a structured questionnaire were conducted to collect data from ATB buyers in pharmacies in Beirut area. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and Chi-square test. A multivariate logistic regression was performed to predict self-medication.


42 % of 319 participants were buying ATB without prescription and the pharmacists were the main helpers (18.8 %). Saving time was the most common cited reason for self-medication with ATB (39.7 %). The logistic regression showed that self-medication with ATB was significantly increased among men [OR = 3.03; IC 95 % (2–5)]; it was associated with sore throat symptoms [OR = 2.38; IC 95 % (1.40–4.03)] and the ignorance of ATB use dangers [OR = 3.33; IC 95 % (1.96–5.55)]. In addition, it was prominent with amoxicillin [OR = 1.93; IC 95 % (0.17–1.34)], and inversely related to quinolone [OR = 0.44; IC 95 % (0.18–1.03)] and cephalosporin families [OR = 0.28; IC 95 % (0.11–1.68)] or other ATB classes [OR = 0.96; IC 95 % (0.41–2.22)].


Self-medication with antibiotics is a relatively frequent problem in Beirut area. Interventions are required to reduce antibiotic misuse.


Self-medication Antibiotic Antimicrobial resistance Antibiotic misuse 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina Cheaito
    • 1
  • Sophie Azizi
    • 2
  • Nadine Saleh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pascale Salameh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of Public Health, Section IILebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon
  2. 2.Doctoral School of Sciences and TechnologyLebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Faculty of PharmacyLebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon

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