VOLPATO, Dalton Espíndola; SOUZA, Bárbara Vicente de; DALLA ROSA, Luana Gabriela et al. Use of antibiotics without medical prescription. Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases, Salvador, v. 9, n. 4, p. 288-291, ago. 2005. Disponível em Scielo
The inappropriate use of antibiotics for the treatment of infections is a worldwide problem that has implications for the cost of treatment and the development of resistant strains of bacteria. The use of antibiotics should follow specific criteria; they are on top of the list of self-medication drugs in countries that do not control their commercialization. OBJECTIVES: To determine the percentage of pharmacies that attend the public and sell antibiotics without medical prescription in a medium-sized city in Brazil, and analyze the variables involved in this procedure. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 107 of the 136 pharmacies registered in our city were evaluated. These pharmacies were visited by actresses who simulated having a sister with symptoms of a non-complicated rhino-sinusitis, so that they could obtain antibiotics without a medical prescription. Each pharmacy was visited only once; the only variable in the simulated clinical setting was the report of fever temperature, which was randomly assigned between 38.5 and 40 degrees Celsius. RESULTS: Antibiotics were offered in 58% of the pharmacies, and this offer was increased to 74% after the actresses insisted on having them. In 65.4% of the pharmacies, the actresses were attended by a pharmacist, and 84.2% of them said they would sell antibiotics. When the request for antibiotics was denied (26%), only 7.5% was due to absence of prescription. The most frequent reason for refusal to sell antibiotics, was because the attendant deemed it unnecessary (46.6%) CONCLUSION: Antibiotics can be easily bought in the great majority of the pharmacies in our town without a medical prescription and a clear indication. Fever temperature did not modify the attendant’s indication of the drug.