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Thus, as soon as patients receive over-the-counter antibiotics and self-treating self-limiting illnesses with drugs, such as upper-respiratory tract infections without complications, they are likely to suggest that the antibiotic was effective, and self-medicate in the future. In the case of online histories to justify a prescription, we assumed that individuals are primarily purchasing antibiotics for an acute problem. We classified Web sites of vendors according to several variables. Unfortunately, this strategy of focusing on prescribing practices does not address the behavior of self-medication with antibiotics. Fourth, we have limited our count to English language websites. If those who are self-medicating are taught that they put their own health at risk, they may be less likely to use these online pharmacies. To examine the types of Web sites and vendors dispensing antibiotics on the Internet, we conducted a search using 2 major search engines (Google and Yahoo) and the key words "purchase antibiotics without prescription" and "online (English only). No prescription was required, and no online consultation was necessary. Previous research suggests that a patient's past experience of care seeking and treatment use influences future expectations for treatment of respiratory tract infections. This decrease was interpreted as evidence that the full use of antibiotics was also reduced. Self-administration of antibiotics occurs in all countries, but it is particularly problematic where the use of antimicrobials without a prescription is encouraged by the lack of laws restricting antibiotic sales or a failure to enforce the laws. Although excessive consumption of antibiotics has contributed to the spread of antibiotic resistance, 4-6 most initiatives regarding inappropriate direct human consumption of the antibiotic therapy center are almost exclusively controlled by prescribing by healthcare clinicians. If patients who are now denied antibiotics through their physician can access over-the-counter medications, the overall level of antibiotic use in the general population can actually increase and thus have a significant effect on rates of resistance to microbial degradation. Recent evidence in ethnic communities in the United States indicates a high level of self-medication with antibiotics either obtained without a prescription in a foreign country and imported into the United States or acquired in the United States without a prescription at stores in ethnic communities. Further education aimed at patients and the community, as well as increased regulation and application of existing guidelines, can help control this potentially vast reservoir of antibiotics. As a result, most community assessments of antibiotic reservoirs are based on assessments by prescribing clinician behavior.