Self medication with antibiotics in Yogyakarta City Indonesia: a cross sectional population-based survey

BMC Res Notes. 2011 Nov 11;4:491. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-491.


Background: Self medication with antibiotics has become an important factor driving antibiotic resistance. This study investigated the period prevalence, patterns of use, and socio-demographic factors associated with self medication with antibiotics in Yogyakarta City Indonesia. This cross-sectional population-based survey used a pre-tested questionnaire which was self-administered to randomly selected respondents (over 18 years old) in Yogyakarta City Indonesia in 2010 (N = 625). Descriptive statistics, chi-square and logistic regression were applied.

Results: A total of 559 questionnaires were analyzed (response rate = 90%). The period prevalence of self medication with antibiotics during the month prior to the study was 7.3%. Amoxicillin was the most popular (77%) antibiotic for self medication besides ampicilline, fradiomisin-gramisidin, tetracycline, and ciprofloxacin to treat the following symptoms: the common-cold including cough and sore throat, headache, and other minor symptoms; with the length of use was mostly less than five days. Doctors or pharmacists were the most common source of information about antibiotics for self medication (52%). Antibiotics were usually purchased without prescription in pharmacies (64%) and the cost of the purchases was commonly less than US $1 (30%). Previous experience was reported to be the main reason for using non-prescribed antibiotics (54%). There were no socio-demographic variables significantly associated with the actual practice of using non-prescribed antibiotics. However, gender, health insurance, and marital status were significantly associated with the intent to self medicate with antibiotics (P < 0.05). Being male (Odds Ratio = 1.7 (1.2 - 2.6)) and having no health insurance (Odds Ratio = 1.5 (1.0 -2.3)) is associated with the intent to self medicate with antibiotics.

Conclusions: This study is the first population-based study of self-medication with antibiotics among the Indonesian population. Usage of non-prescribed antibiotics as well as intent of doing so is common across socio-demographic categories. Given the findings, factors influencing people's intentions to self medicate with antibiotics are required to be investigated to better understand such behavior. Impact of health insurance coverage on self medication with antibiotics should also be further investigated.