Antibiotics are the most frequently bought drug worldwide1. They are indispensable treatments
especially in countries like India, where the infectious disease burden is
among the highest in the world2. Crucial to the success of antimicrobial
therapy is the use of drugs which are active and effective against common
pathogens. Hence, when antimicrobial drugs are used against a vulnerable
pathogen, the outcome is beneficial for the patient3. Nevertheless, use and overuse 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. Every time an antibiotic
is used, whether appropriately or not, the probability of the development and spread
of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is greater7.
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 globally shared
responsibility but the actions needed to achieve this goal cannot be decided
globally. Each region must adopt strategies tailored 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