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This decrease was interpreted as evidence that the full use of antibiotics was also reduced. Fourth, we have limited our count to English language websites. 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. 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). Our study suggests that the opposite might be the case. As part of this study, we bought over-the-counter antibiotics over the counter. 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. Patients are increasingly using the Internet not only to access health information but also to obtain medication. All these obstacles cause the illegal acquisition of antibiotics by patients. Antibiotic resistance is a common problem, however, and has been described with numerous infectious agents and in varying contexts. 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. First, this study provides a sample of websites and providers, and thus may not be indicative of all suppliers selling over-the-counter antibiotics. Unfortunately, this strategy of focusing on prescribing practices does not address the behavior of self-medication with antibiotics. 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. This activity suggests that some vendors are aware of the questionable legitimacy of their business.