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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. This phenomenon has not been the focus of initiatives to control antibiotic resistance. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies may need to monitor who is selling their products and through what mechanisms. Even with these strategies, however, it was difficult to know whether one corporation still owns and manages several locations. Thus, vendors targeting foreign-language speakers in the United States would have been missed. 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. 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. Some prescription medication is sold without a valid prescription, which is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The medical community and the public health and regulating agencies, as well as pharmaceutical companies, need to expand efforts to control antibiotic resistance beyond initiatives centered on prescribing behavior to include self-medication and sources of antibiotics obtained without prescription. Previous research suggests that a patient's past experience of care seeking and treatment use influences future expectations for treatment of respiratory tract infections. 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. Because of its effect on morbidity and mortality, antibiotic resistance is considered a threat to US health and national security by the Institute of Medicine and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Antibiotics serve a useful therapeutic purpose in treating and controlling the effects of infectious agents. Our study suggests that the opposite might be the case. The purpose of this study was to examine antibiotics available to patients without a prescription, a phenomenon on the Internet.