SELF ADMINISTRATION OF ANTIBIOTIC IN RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS BY PARENTS TO THEIR CHILDREN
Background: Currently self-medication of antibiotics in respiratory tract infection by parents to their children is one
of the major public health issue worldwide and an important factor contributing to the development of bacterial
Objectives: To assess the knowledge, practices and extent of self medication of antibiotics by the parents in their
children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), and determined the factors related to it in Hayatabad township
Methodology: A community based cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in Hayatabad township Peshawar,
March 2012 to 30th
August 2012. A total of 400 parents of different literacy and income level were interviewed
through structured questionnaire.
Results: Out of 400 parents 62.5% were female with age more than 30 years. 86% parents educational level was
high school and above. Majority of parents (81%) had satisfactory economic status and access to health services
Majority of the parents (92.5%) agreed that their children were suffering from URTI. 69.75 % parents believe
that they knew about antibiotics and their source of information was physician 65%, TV & newspaper 6.5% and
friends & family relatives 28.5%. Around 47.25% parents believed that antibiotic cure all infections when received on
The most common symptoms for self-administration of antibiotics were cough 23.4%, ear pain 18.11%, fever
17.66%, sore throat 12.6%, nose discharge 12.94%, hoarseness 9.55% and other symptoms 5.74%. 50.25% parents
believe that antibiotic decreases complications of URTI. 71% parents check expiry dates before using antibiotics.
Overall there was poor awareness with regard to side effects, antibiotic resistance and drug efficacy.
Conclusion: The results of the study confirm that antibiotic self-medication is a relatively common problem in
Hayatabad township Peshawar. Despite good access to health care facilities parents self administered antibiotics in
children without prescription due to various reasons.
Key Words: Parents, children, antibiotics, upper respiratory tract infection, antibiotic resistance.