Internationally, the most frequently purchased drugs are
antimicrobials1. They are
indispensable treatments especially in countries like India, where the
infectious disease burden is among the highest in the world2. The success of antimicrobial therapy critically depends
on the use of drugs which are active and effective against common pathogens
such that the outcome is beneficial for the patient when a vulnerable pathogen
is targeted by these drugs3.
Nevertheless, habitual use of antimicrobials at the population level is linked
to the rise of bacterial resistance, narrowing the effective range of the
available drugs 4,5.
The increased resistance is a result of many factors, but
the leading cause is the overall volume of antibiotic consumption6. With each use, whether
appropriate or not, the probability of the development and spread of
antibiotic-resistant bacteria escalates7.
In developing countries antibiotics can be obtained easily from private retail
pharmacies without prescription and pharmacists also advise and dispense
antibiotics to patients8.
Hence, self-medication is rampant and inappropriate antimicrobial use is
persistent. To prevent this problem, an all-inclusive method is advised which
includes proper awareness and education of the public regarding self-medication9. Recognizing the reasons and rationale of
individuals for consumption of self-prescribed antimicrobials enables the
formation of effectual strategies that directly tackle these key influences of
non-prescription antimicrobial use.
Maintenance of antimicrobial success is a universally shared
responsibility but the actions needed to achieve this goal cannot be decided
globally. Each region must adopt approaches adapted to its own conditions.
Hence this study brings to light the factors driving individuals to purchase
antibiotics without a prescription or oversight by healthcare professionals in