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Antibiotics, Self medication, Guatemala



Self-medication with antibiotics may result in antimicrobial resistance and its high prevalence is of particular concern in Low to Middle Income Countries (LMIC) like Guatemala. A better understanding of self-medication with antibiotics may represent an opportunity to develop interventions guiding the rational use of antibiotics. We aimed to compare the magnitude of antibiotic self-medication and the characteristics of those who self-medicate in two pharmacies serving disparate socio-economic communities in Guatemala City.


We conducted a descriptive, cross-sectional study in one Suburban pharmacy and one City Center pharmacy in Guatemala City. We used a questionnaire to gather information about frequency of self-medication, income and education of those who self-medicate. We compared proportions between the two pharmacies, using two-sample z-test as appropriate.


Four hundred and eighteen respondents completed the survey (221 in the Suburban pharmacy and 197 in the City Center pharmacy). Most respondents in both pharmacies were female (70%). The reported monthly income in the suburban pharmacy was between $1,250.00-$2,500.00, the city-center pharmacy reported a monthly income between $125.00- $625.00 (p < 0.01). Twenty three percent of Suburban pharmacy respondents and 3% in the City Center pharmacy completed high school (p < 0.01). Proportion of self-medication was 79% in the Suburban pharmacy and 77% in City Center pharmacy. In both settings, amoxicillin was reported as the antibiotic most commonly used.


High proportions of self-medication with antibiotics were reported in two pharmacies serving disparate socio-economic groups in Guatemala City. Additionally, self-medicating respondents were most often women and most commonly self-medicated with amoxicillin. Our findings support future public health interventions centered on the regulation of antibiotic sales and on the potential role of the pharmacist in guiding prescription with antibiotics in Guatemala.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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