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No prescription was required, and no online consultation was necessary. We considered more than 6 pills to be excessive and could lead to future self-medication with the unused pills. In addition, the ability of Internet-based companies to exist without an identifiable physical location or property makes the location and writing of FDA instructions extremely difficult. We classified Web sites of vendors according to several variables. Although more than half of the identified sites provided online consultation for prescribing, the lack of interaction between the patient and the doctor did not lead to any opportunity for patient education. 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. 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. Antibiotics serve a useful therapeutic purpose in treating and controlling the effects of infectious agents. As some vendors have multiple URLs to reach their company, we checked the mailing address, title and phone number to avoid double counting. 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 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. There are several limitations to this study. As part of this study, we bought over-the-counter antibiotics over the counter. 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. Second, there was a considerable repetition in the Web sites, which made an accurate determination of unique vendors from the 184 different sites difficult, an effort that may have let to some error. 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.