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J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2005 Aug 12;8(2):326-31.

Self-medication with antibiotics and antimalarials in the community of Khartoum State, Sudan.

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Department of Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, Kuwait University Safat, Kuwait.



To estimate the prevalence of self medication with antibiotics and antimalarials in Khartoum State, Sudan and evaluate factors associated with self medication.


A pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of 600 households, (1750 adult persons), selected from three cities in Khartoum State, Sudan, using a multistage stratified clustered sampling.


One thousand two hundred and ninety three (73.9%) of the study population had used antibiotics or antimalarials without a prescription within one month prior to the study. Eight hundred and forty one (48.1%) of the respondents agreed that they have used antibiotics, 43.4% used antimalarials, while 17.5% used both. Self medication with either antibiotics/ antimalarials was found to be significantly associated with age, income, gender and level of education. Overall, self medication with any antibiotics or antimalarials was least common among the > or = 60 years compared to youngest age group (OR: 0.07; 0.04 -0.11) and most common among the female gender (OR: 1.8; 1.4 -2.4), the middle income group (OR: 3.7; 2.6-5.3) and the university graduates. Self medication with antibiotic was found to be significantly higher among females (OR: 1.5; 1.16-1.87), middle aged respondents aged 40-59 (OR: 2.1; 1.5-3.0) compared to younger respondents. Lower income and higher level of education was also found to be significantly associated with the increase risk of self medicating with antibiotic. Increase risk for self medication with antimalarials were, however, found to be significantly associated with male gender and younger age group of < 40 years and middle income earners and less educated respondents. The main reason that was indicated for the self-medication was financial constraints. The main source of medicines was the private pharmacies, which were regarded as a cheaper alternative to other primary healthcare sources.


The prevalence of self-medication with antibiotics/antimalarials in Khartoum State, Sudan is alarmingly high. Self medication behaviour varies significantly with a number of socio-economic characteristics. Given the growing global resistance for antibiotic and documented health issues related to inappropriate use of such drugs, our findings has major public health policy implications for countries like Sudan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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