Irrational use of antibiotics among university students

J Infect. 2005 Aug;51(2):135-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jinf.2004.12.001. Epub 2005 Jan 20.


Study objective: The aim of the presented study was to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and behaviour of antibiotic usage in the student groups of a University in a country where the antibiotics are taken without prescriptions.

Design: Out of 5345 students (excluding those from the Faculty of Medicine) of Ege University, 678 were chosen by systematic sampling methods. The sampling group was divided into two groups. Group A included students from the Faculties of Pharmacy and Dentistry and Group B was composed of students of all other faculties. A questionnaire was used.

Main results: The mean age was 21.0+/-3.0 and 58% were females. The aim of antibiotic use for common cold was 83.1% (P>0.05) and, to decrease fever was 32.1% (P<0.05) in both Groups. In Group A 36.1% and in Group B 44.9% of the respondents started antibiotics by themselves when they were ill (P>0.05) although 89.1% of both groups agree that antibiotics should be started with doctors' prescription. During their last infection in Group A 11.7% and in Group B 27.3% of the respondents used the same antibiotic as previously prescribed by their doctors and the use of antibiotics as advised by the doctors during their last infection was 50.8% in Group A and 35.3% in Group B.

Conclusions: The use of antibiotics are found to be irrational among university students. National education programmes about the dangers of irrational antibiotic use and restriction of antibiotics without prescriptions should be the priority. This study indicated that knowledge regarding antibiotics cannot be evaluated alone since it did not always correlate with behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Behavior / classification
  • Common Cold / drug therapy
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Female
  • Fever / drug therapy
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Medication / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / classification*
  • Students / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey
  • Universities


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents