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Antibiotic Dispensing and Prescription Pattern in Pharmacies of Islamabad and Rawalpindi: Pakistan

Background: Antibiotic resistance, a continuous threat to effective prevention and treatment of infections is a common problem the world facing these days. The severity of problem has increased especially in developing countries with self-medication and multiple antibiotics use as main contributing factors.

Objective: To describe the pattern of prescription and antibiotics dispensing from pharmacies along with identification of determinants regarding self-medication of antibiotics among consumers.

Methodology: Cross sectional study design was used. Data was collected from 5 conveniently selected pharmacies in Islamabad & Rawalpindi using a standardized structured questionnaire during evening shift at each pharmacy.

Results: Overall, 525 antibiotics were dispensed to 386 patients or representatives with a total cost of 44174 PKR (approximately $437 USD). About 64.8% (n=250) of the respondents received antibiotics on an official prescription whereas 35.2% (n=136) of the respondents received antibiotics on self-demand or on pharmacist recommendation. Significant association was observed between gender, age, occupation of respondents, cost spent on antibiotics and self-medication.

Conclusion: Antibiotics prescribing and dispensing practices in Islamabad & Rawalpindi are not in complete accordance with the standard guidelines. Antibiotics were frequently prescribed and dispensed through pharmacies of twin cities without official prescriptions. Moreover, higher percentage of antibiotics was dispensed per prescription in majority and people tended more towards self-medication because they found it a cheap solution for their health issues.


Farah Ashraf, Assad Hafeez , Faisal Imtiaz , Adil Ayub , Hassan Imtiaz

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