Journal Article

Patients' Interviews and Misuse of Antibiotics

Jean Claude Pechère

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 33, issue Supplement_3, pages S170-S173
Published in print September 2001 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2001 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Patients' Interviews and Misuse of Antibiotics

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  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
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  • Microbiology


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To better evaluate patient contribution in antibiotic use, we questioned 5379 subjects from 9 countries. Antibiotics are perceived as strong, efficient drugs, but they are believed to undermine immunity. Interviewees believe that most respiratory infections, except the common cold, require antibiotic therapy, and 11% of them had to exaggerate their symptoms to get an antibiotic prescription from their physician. About 1 patient in 4 saved part of the antibiotic course for future use. Sixty-nine percent of the patients claimed to have taken the course until the end (United Kingdom, 90%; Thailand, 53%), and 75% claimed that they actually took all the daily doses. In all countries, it was possible to get antibiotics from a pharmacist without a medical prescription. This study shows that patients exert pressure on their doctors to get antibiotics and should allow a design for precise educational action aimed at the public for better control of antibiotic use in the community.

Journal Article.  2202 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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