Internationally, the most frequently purchased drugs areantimicrobials1. They areindispensable treatments especially in countries like India, where theinfectious disease burden is among the highest in the world2. The success of antimicrobial therapy critically dependson the use of drugs which are active and effective against common pathogens.Hence, the outcome is beneficial for the patient when antimicrobial drugs areused against a vulnerable pathogen3.Nevertheless, habitual use of antimicrobials at the population level is linkedto the rise of bacterial resistance, narrowing the effective range of theavailable drugs 4,5.
The increased resistance is a result of many factors, butthe leading cause is the overall volume of antibiotic consumption6. With each use, whetherappropriate or not, the probability of the development and spread ofantibiotic-resistant bacteria escalates7.In developing countries antibiotics can be obtained easily from private retailpharmacies without prescription and pharmacists also advise and dispenseantibiotics to patients8.Hence, self-medication is rampant and inappropriate antimicrobial use ispersistent. To prevent this problem, an all-inclusive method is advised whichincludes proper awareness and education of the public regarding self-medication9.
Recognizing the reasons and rationale ofindividuals for consumption of self-prescribed antimicrobials enables theformation of effectual strategies that directly tackle these key influences ofnon-prescription antimicrobial use. Maintenance of antimicrobial success is a universally sharedresponsibility but the actions needed to achieve this goal cannot be decidedglobally. Each region must adopt approaches adapted to its own conditions.Hence this study brings to light the factors driving individuals to purchaseantibiotics without a prescription or oversight by healthcare professionals inKaraikal, Puducherry.