Nonprescribed antimicrobial drugs in Latino community, South Carolina

Emerg Infect Dis. 2005 Jun;11(6):883-8. doi: 10.3201/eid1106.040960.


We investigated in a sample of Latinos the practices of antimicrobial drug importation and use of nonprescribed antimicrobial drugs. In interviews conducted with 219 adults, we assessed health beliefs and past and present behaviors consistent with acquiring antimicrobial drugs without a prescription in the United States. Many (30.6%) believed that antimicrobial drugs should be available in the United States without a prescription. Furthermore, 16.4% had transported nonprescribed antimicrobial drugs into the United States, and 19.2% had acquired antimicrobial agents in the United States without a prescription. A stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that the best predictors of having acquired nonprescribed antimicrobial drugs in the United States were beliefs and behavior consistent with limited regulations on such drugs. Many persons within the Latino community self-medicate with antimicrobial drugs obtained without a prescription both inside and outside the United States, which adds to the reservoir of antimicrobial drugs in the United States.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / economics
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / standards
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Drug Utilization
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nonprescription Drugs* / economics
  • Nonprescription Drugs* / standards
  • Nonprescription Drugs* / therapeutic use
  • Self Medication*
  • South Carolina


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Nonprescription Drugs