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Dispensing of non-prescribed antibiotics in Jordan

Authors Almaaytah A, Mukattash T, Hajaj J

Received 2 July 2015

Accepted for publication 19 August 2015

Published 30 September 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1389—1395


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Doris Leung

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Ammar Almaaytah,1 Tareq L Mukattash,2 Julia Hajaj2

1Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, 2Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan

Objective: Current regulations in Jordan state that antibiotics cannot be sold without a medical prescription. This study aimed to assess the percentage of pharmacies that dispense antibiotics without a medical prescription in the Kingdom of Jordan and identify and highlight the extent and seriousness of such practices among Jordanian pharmacies.
Methods: A prospective study was performed, and five different clinical scenarios were simulated at pharmacies investigated including sore throat, otitis media, acute sinusitis, diarrhea, and urinary tract infection in childbearing-aged women. Three levels of demand were used to convince the pharmacists to sell an antibiotic.
Results: A total of 202 total pharmacies in Jordan were visited in the present study. The majority of pharmacies (74.3%) dispensed antibiotics without prescription with three different levels of demand. The percentage of pharmacies dispensing antibiotics without a prescription for the sore throat scenario was 97.6%, followed by urinary tract infection (83.3%), diarrhea (83%), and otitis media (68.4%). The lowest percentage of antibiotic dispensing was for the acute sinusitis simulation at 48.5%. Among the pharmacies that dispensed antibiotics, the pharmacists provided an explanation as the number of times per day the drug should be taken in 95.3% of the cases, explained the duration of treatment in 25.7%, and inquired about allergies prior to the sale of the antibiotic in only 17.3%. Only 52 pharmacies (25.7%) refused to dispense any kind of antibiotics, the majority (61.5%) of this refusal response came from acute sinusitis cases, while the minority (2.4%) came from the sore throat cases.
Conclusion: The results of this study demonstrate that antibiotics continue to be dispensed without prescription in Jordan in violation with national regulations regarding this practice. The findings of this study could provide a layout for governmental health authorities to implement strict enfrorcment of national regulations regarding antibiotic dispensing in order to avoid the serious complications that could arise in the future as a result of such practices.

Keywords: pharmacy, pharmacy practice, non-prescribed antibiotics, microbial resistance, Jordan

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