Antibiotic Self-Medication for Oral Conditions: Characteristics and Associated Factors

Najla Dar-Odeh, Badr Othman, Rayan H. Bahabri, Ahmad A. Alnazzawi, Sary S. Borzangy, Hani T. Fadel, Albraa B. Alolayan, Osama A. Abu-Hammad


Objective: To investigate the prevalence and contributing factors of antibiotic self-medication for oral conditions in dental patients. Material and Methods: A questionnaire was distributed to 501 patients attending Taibah University Dental College and Hospital, Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia during late 2016. Questions were on socio-demographic characteristics, and pattern of antibiotic self-medication for oral disease. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS software version 21. Statistical significance level was set at p ≤.05. Results: Age range was 15-64 years (29.08±9.32 years) with 297 females (59.3%) and 204 males (40.7%). 135 patients (27%) self-medicated with antibiotics for oral disease. This practice was statistically significantly associated with the older adults (p=0.001), lack of medical or dental insurance (p=0.014 and 0.007, respectively), and poor dental attendance (p=0.021). A number of 26 (25.7%) perceived analgesics as antibiotics. Amoxicillin-clavulanic acid was the most commonly cited antibiotic by 18 patients (17.8%). Dental pain was the most frequently reported oral condition. Pharmacists were the most common source for antibiotic prescription cited by 58 (57.4%). Conclusion: Antibiotic self-medication for oral disease is associated with the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics for non-indicated clinical oral conditions. The practice was encouraged by lenient behavior of pharmacists, lack of health insurance, and poor dental attendance.


Anti-Bacterial Agents; Patients; Self Medication.

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