Perspectives and Experiences of Community Pharmacists about Antibiotic Dispensing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Hisham Aljadhey, Mohammed Al-Dhaefi, Mansour A. Mahmoud, Aziz Sheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstractpeer-review


Background: The dispensing of antibiotic without prescription has been observed in many countries, including Saudi Arabia. This may increase problems associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics and lead to adverse
drug events and antibiotic resistance.
Objectives: We explored the perspectives and experiences of community pharmacists regarding dispensing of antibiotics without prescription.
Methods: A qualitative study of community pharmacies sampled from across the five regions of Riyadh city (i.e. North, West, East, South and Middle). Interviews
were conducted by a trained researcher with one pharmacist in each community pharmacy. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and then
independently coded and analyzed by two researchers. Results: A total of 16 pharmacists out of 22 participated
in the study (response rate 73%). Fourteen out of 16 pharmacists indicate that they dispensed antibiotics without prescription. The reported indications for
dispensing antibiotic included fever, sore throat, tonsillitis, urinary tract infections, common cold and cough. The most common antibiotic dispensed was amoxicillin.
Further exploration of the causes of dispensing antibiotic without prescriptions revealed three main themes. Factors contributing to the dispensing of antibiotic included requests for specific antibiotics by name, ignoring of pharmacist
advice that antibiotics were not indicated, and financial considerations. Factors perceived by pharmacists as contributing to consumers demands for antibiotics without prescription included, lack of confidence in physicians, easy access to community pharmacies, and time pressures.n contrast, factors perceived by pharmacists as inhibiting dispensing of antibiotics included complicated cases and an incomplete patient medical history.
Conclusions: Pharmacists reported that antibiotics are frequently dispensed without prescription, a combination of public education, professional training and state regulation are likely to be important to ensuring more appropriate community dispensing and use of antibiotics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-68
Number of pages1
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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