Antibiotic resistance (ABR) is a significant issue for public health globally. An adequate understanding of ABR and the approaches used to tackle ABR, including antibiotic stewardship programs, are vital. This study aimed to get an insight into antibiotic use, ABR, and antibiotic stewardship programs among pharmacy students of Punjab, Pakistan. This multicenter study was undertaken among final (fifth) year undergraduate pharmacy students of 7 universities of Punjab, Pakistan. A paper-based self-administered questionnaire comprising 48-items was utilized for data collection. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed for data analysis. This study included a total of 296 respondents with a response rate of 85.8%. Most of the students had an average understanding of antibiotic use (59.8%), ABR (42.6%), ABR mechanisms (48.0%), and factors of ABR (51.7%). Only 21.6% of students have heard about antibiotic stewardship programs. More than half of the students believed that educating and training healthcare professionals (53.4%) and medical students (57.8%) about the prescribing and judicial usage of antibiotics could reduce the ABR burden. The awareness of most of the pharmacy students about certain aspects of antibiotic use, ABR, and stewardship programs was suboptimal.
Keywords: antibiotic resistance; antibiotic use; knowledge; pharmacy students; stewardship programs.