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Specifically, we classified a single course of azithromycin as 6 pills, 250 mg each. 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. Finally, and potentially the biggest limitation on the importance of this study, is that we were unable to describe how this Internet-based purchasing strategy was used to purchase people with antibiotics in the United States. This study was not meant to be an exhaustive census of these sites, primarily because with the questionable legality of some of these practices, these sites rapidly come and go. 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. 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. Unfortunately, this strategy of focusing on prescribing practices does not address the behavior of self-medication with antibiotics. For example, we found that servers at Dartmouth College, East Carolina University, University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and California State University in San Francisco were all used, most likely without their knowledge, to be reassigned to online pharmacies. For this second group, no prescription from a doctor or clinical physician was necessary before gaining access to the site. Antibiotic resistance is a common problem, however, and has been described with numerous infectious agents and in varying contexts. First, although all of the included providers would sell antibiotics without a prescription, we assessed whether the supplier would sell antibiotics without any form of prescription or whether a prescription created for the purchase based on the completion of an online medical history was required. Thus, vendors targeting foreign-language speakers in the United States would have been missed. Finally, in order to determine whether these sites actually provide a product that they intended to sell over the counter, we submitted an online order to 1 vendor for 6 tablets of azithromycin, 500 mg each. Most initiatives, however, focus almost exclusively on controlling prescribing by health care clinicians and do not focus on patient self-medication. 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). European countries struggled with the problem of self-medication with antibiotics and found that the belief in the appropriateness of self-medication with antibiotics for bronchitis and the perceived availability of antibiotics without a prescription was associated with an increased likelihood of self-medication.