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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. Our study is the first to document this phenomenon, and we describe the mechanism for purchasing antibiotics online; future studies will need to document the scope of antibiotics purchased through this mechanism to better understand its direct implications for antibiotic resistance. All these obstacles cause the illegal acquisition of antibiotics by patients. We compared identifying telephone numbers, street addresses, and site headers for each site as a way to sort out duplication. 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. 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. 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. 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. This decrease was interpreted as evidence that the full use of antibiotics was also reduced. Although the vast majority of websites were in English, some were in other languages. 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. 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. Reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics is key to many antibiotic resistance initiatives. In addition, the available quantities and the interval between prescribing and receiving treatment suggest that these transactions will likely be used by people storing drugs for future self-diagnosis and treatment, or for sale. That these companies can be located in countries outside US jurisdictions complicates enforcement of US laws.