Misuse of antibiotics among social media users
Misuse of antibiotics is a contributing factor to the development of antimicrobial resistance. Health care industry have always tried to understand the reasons behind indiscriminate use of and tried to formulate solutions around it. At present, social networks are a way of life and are used by millions of people around the world. Thus, they appear to provide a lucrative platform to distribute knowledge, gather information and influence people opinion to save the antibiotics and people health. Aims: This research was planned to assess the degree of antibiotic misuse by the public, awareness of associated complications and the role of social media in spreading knowledge regarding this issue. Methodology: Starting from December 2015 to April 2016 a total number of 500 people participated in this study by answering a questionnaire that was posted on different social media platforms and linked through the Facebook page “Save the Antibiotics.” We recruited participants randomly and then collected and analyzed the data. Results: The results showed that antibiotic misuse was very common among social media users; up to 52.9% treated themselves by antibiotics without consulting a physician. Most commonly they were used for a sore throat (69.5%) followed by fever (35.6%) then cough and pain (35.6%). Self-believes and previous experiences were the chief driving cause for self-medication with antibiotics. Conclusion: Antibiotic misuse is a major problem and we must address it through any means necessary; including social media which we used not only to disseminate information but also to gather data and communicate with people and society at large due to its popularity currently.