Background Irregular antibiotic use, including self-medication contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance. One method of accessing antibiotic use in the community is through obtaining an in house inventory of drugs. Objective The aim of this study was to investigate the extent of storage and self-medication with antibiotics agents in households in Novi Sad, Serbia. Setting Households in Novi Sad. Method The study was performed during a 4-month period (October 2015–January 2016) using a sample of 112 households in Novi Sad, Serbia. Two trained interviewers performed the survey by visiting each household. The study consisted of making an inventory of all drugs in household and a semi-structured interview about drug use practices and perceptions. Main outcome measure Number of antibiotics obtained without prescription. Results Out of 112 surveyed households, antibiotics were encountered in 55 (49.1%). Antibiotics constituted 11.98% (92/768) of total number of drug items in households. Out of all antibiotics in households, 41 (44.57%) were not in current use, and presented left-overs from previous treatment. Antibiotics were usually acquired with prescription (67, 67.7%), while about a quarter of packages were used for self-medication—purchased at pharmacy without prescription (19, 20.65%) or obtained through friends or family member (6, 6.52%).The most commonly used antibiotics for self-medication was amoxicillin (reported indications included common cold, cough, pharyngitis and tooth-ache). Conclusion Antibiotics were present in large share of households in Novi Sad. Self-medication with antibiotics and sale of antibiotics without prescription represent an important problem in Serbia.
Antibiotics Compliance Drug leftovers Home pharmacies Home remedies Households Self-medication Serbia
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We would like to thank all study participants involved in this research for giving up their time to take part in the study.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological development, Republic of Serbia, Project No. 41012.
Conflicts of interest
The authors of this manuscript have no conflicts of interest to declare.
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