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Table 3 Characteristics of self-medication in two Guatemala City pharmacies

From: Comparing antibiotic self-medication in two socio-economic groups in Guatemala City: a descriptive cross-sectional study

  Number of respondents in Suburb (n = 221) Number of respondents in City Center (n = 197)
Symptoms resulting in self-medication +   
Cold/flu 74 (33%) 65 (33%)
Pain 66 (30%) 54 (27%)
Fever 39 (18%) 41 (21%)
Stomach ache 22 (10%) 26 (13%)
Diarrhea 10 (5%) 5 (3%)
Allergy 10 (4%) 6 (3%)
Reasons for self-medicating +   
Lack of time and to save time 84 (38%)* 110 (56%)*
Easily purchasable medications from pharmacies 60 (27%) 34 (17%)
Economic reasons (High costs of visits to doctor/Low cost of purchasing drugs) 34 (15%) 29 (15%)
Simple sign and symptom of a disease 20 (9%) 18 (9%)
Convenient (ease of curing perceived symptoms) 18 (8%) 3 (2%)
Lack of trust toward doctors 4 (2%) 3 (2%)
Locations for obtaining medications +   
Pharmacies 172 (77%) 139 (70%)
Supermarket 20 (9%)* 0 (0%)*
Corner stores 19 (8%)* 58 (29%)*
From home (previously purchased) 9 (4%)* 0*
Frequency of self-medication   
One time per week 42(19%)* 65(33%)*
One time per month 77(35%)* 12(6%)*
Two times per month 1(0.5%) 6(3%)
Every two months 1(0.5%) 2(1%)
Every three months 5(2%) 8(4%)
Every six months 16(7%) 21(11%)
Two times per year 2(1%) 0
One time per year 66(30%) 67(34%)
Never 11(5%) 16 (8%)
Regarding the antibiotic information handout   
Do not read antibiotic information handout 176 (80%)* 188 (95%)*
Read antibiotic information handout 45 (20%)* 9 (5%)*
How it can effect one's health, 1 negative effect 10 positive effect   
1 on a scale of 10 0 (0%)* 0 (0%)*
2-4 on a scale of 10 37 (17%) 24 (12%)
5 on a scale of 10 45 (20%) 35 (18%)
6 on a scale of 10 67 (30%) 40 (20%)
7 on a scale of 10 42 (19%) 46 (23%)
8-10 on a scale of 10 30 (14%) 44 (22%)
Who respondents go to for advice   
Pharmacy employee 84 (38%)* 8 (4%)*
Family 81 (37%)* 129 (65%)*
Friend 52 (23%) 60 (30%)
Other 4 (2%) 0 (0%)
  1. *Significant difference between suburb and city center pharmacies, p < 0.01.
  2. +Multiple responses were allowed for these items.