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Background: Antibiotic self-medication has been on the rise in different parts of the world. Antibiotic self-medication causes excessive antibiotic exposure to humans which is associated with many health risks including antibiotic resistance. The objective of this study was to assess practice and determine the prevalence of antibiotic self-medication among undergraduate students.
Methodology: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the practice and knowledge of antibiotic self-medication among undergraduate students. A total of 300 undergraduate students were purposively sampled. The association between categorical predictors and antibiotic self-medication waspresented as Odds Ratios (OR) with 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CIs) using logistic regression.
Result: The prevalence of antibiotic self-medication among undergraduate students is 191(63.7%) with amoxicillin 103(53.9%) being the most used antibiotic for treatment of respiratory disorders 109(57.1%) and gastrointestinal disorders 50(26.2%). Pharmacy is the major source of antibiotics used for self-medication 165(86.4%). Delayed/queue in seeking hospitals services was the main reason for practicing antibiotic self-medication 74(38.7%).
Conclusion: The study observed a high prevalence of antibiotic self-medication among undergraduate students. This calls for immediate implementation of public health programs aimed at increasing awareness of consequences that may results from antibiotic self-medication. At the policy-making level, there is an urgent need to legislate and enforce laws restricting access to antibiotics in Tanzania.