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Patients are increasingly using the Internet not only to access health information but also to obtain medication. 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. We compared identifying telephone numbers, street addresses, and site headers for each site as a way to sort out duplication. This activity suggests that some vendors are aware of the questionable legitimacy of their business. We therefore wanted to find out if the amount of time between online evaluation and getting treatment was significantly longer. 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. The extent to which antibiotics are available for over-the-counter purchases over the Internet is unknown. 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. 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. 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. Although providing over-the-counter drugs is illegal in the United States, failure to enforce US laws likely encourages these companies to sell their products to patients. In some cases the URL did not take the reader to an actual medication vendor; rather, the Web site contained multiple advertisements and links to other sites for purchasing antibiotics. 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. Third, we could not to determine how often pharmaceuticals purchased over the Internet were not genuine, inactive, out of date, or adulterated. 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. First, this study provides a sample of websites and providers, and thus may not be indicative of all suppliers selling over-the-counter antibiotics.