Objectives: To identify the knowledge and attitudes of community pharmacists towards upper respiratory infections.
Setting: The pharmacists, who participated in an annual clinical pharmacy congress in Tehran, were enrolled in this study.
Intervention: We conducted a cross-sectional descriptive study to assess the knowledge and attitudes of 72 community pharmacists towards upper respiratory infections (URI) using a questionnaire.
Main Outcome Measures: We investigated the knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists towards rational antibiotics use in URI in Iran. Also we tried to detect causes of irrational antibiotic use.
Results: The response rate of our study was 72%. Of all respondents, 98.61% answered the knowledge question” inappropriate use of antibiotics could lead to drug resistance and would increase drug allergy” correctly. More than half (55.56%) of the community pharmacists believed that pharmacists can be affected by patients’ expectations for antibiotics prescription. A majority of pharmacists gave a correct response to questions about beneficial use of corticosteroid in URI (90.28%) and symptoms persistent after 10-14 days even with antibiotic therapy (86.11%). More than half of all pharmacists had misconceptions on antibiotic use for URI in children under 2 years old. More than half of all pharmacists believed that most cases of URI are viral infections. Also, 90.28% of all pharmacists believed that guidelines for antibiotics prescribing may be beneficial in appropriate antibiotic use.
Conclusion: According to a high response rate for the question about efficiency of antibiotics prescription guidelines, reliable information on the appropriate use of antibiotics should be more widely available for pharmacists.