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Previous research suggests that a patient's past experience of care seeking and treatment use influences future expectations for treatment of respiratory tract infections. We classified Web sites of vendors according to several variables. Thus, vendors targeting foreign-language speakers in the United States would have been missed. Other providers are trying to upset this law by providing online diagnoses and prescriptions based on medical records without a physical examination and without a long relationship between the patient and the doctor, a practice that is not considered an adequate standard of care. Antibiotics serve a useful therapeutic purpose in treating and controlling the effects of infectious agents. Fourth, we categorized whether a person could buy antibiotics, especially broad-spectrum antibiotics, in quantities greater than what would be considered adequate 1 course of treatment for acute respiratory tract infection. Most initiatives, however, focus almost exclusively on controlling prescribing by health care clinicians and do not focus on patient self-medication. The findings described in this study suggest that there is a potentially large pool of antibiotics in the United States that is not affected by initiatives to change physician-prescribing practices and may be contributing to antibiotic resistance. This reservoir of antibiotics is likely to be used inappropriately-the Web sites promote self-diagnosis and self-medication, and antibiotics are likely to be used in inappropriate dosages. No prescription was required, and no online consultation was necessary. The purpose of this study was to examine antibiotics available to patients without a prescription, a phenomenon on the Internet. Fourth, we have limited our count to English language websites. We assessed whether individuals could purchase penicillins, macrolides, fluoroquinolones, and cephalosporins, because the availability of multiple classes of antibiotics would affect additional selective pressure in the community. Clinicians evaluating the patient's use of self-medication when taking a medical history may function as an important opportunity to tell patients about not only antibiotic resistance, but also potential interactions between antibiotics and other prescription drugs. For this second group, no prescription from a doctor or clinical physician was necessary before gaining access to the site.