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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109-115

Outpatient prescribing and antibiotic use for children in a tertiary hospital


1 Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Management, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Kaduna State, Nigeria
4 Department of Pharmaceutical Services, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lawal Waisu Umar
Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_27_18

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Background: Rational prescribing is essential to prevent medication errors, antibiotic resistance, and treatment failure. Assessment of prescribing practices helps monitor the utilization of medicines. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prescribing pattern and utilization of antibiotics for children attending outpatient units. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive, retrospective study of outpatient pediatric prescriptions received at the pharmacy of a Nigerian teaching hospital, using the World Health Organization (WHO) core prescribing indicators and Index of Rational Drug Prescribing (IRDP). Prescription information for a 2-year period was collected on a standardized prescribing form. Computer data entry was made into Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet. Data analysis was done using SPSS Version 20(IBM, Corp., Armonk, NY, USA). Results were compared with the WHO core prescribing indicators and presented as means, frequencies, proportions, contingency tables, and charts comparing with published standards. Results: There were 3445 eligible prescriptions, with mean child age of 3.2 (±2.9) years. An average of 2.4 (±1.6) drugs were prescribed per encounter, with 48.2% written in generic names. Prescriptions containing oral antibiotics and antibiotic injections constituted 50.2% and 41.2%, respectively. Medicines prescribed were available in the essential medicines list in 95.5% of cases. The IRDP was 2.98 against the ideal of 5. Majority (71.3%) of antibiotic-containing prescriptions had one antibiotic prescribed while β-lactam penicillins and cephalosporins were the most prescribed, with ampicillin/cloxacillin being the most common combination. Conclusion: Irrational prescribing and inappropriate antibiotic use were prevalent in this tertiary hospital. Similar studies are needed to describe the trends in all Nigerian tertiary hospitals, along with retraining on rational prescribing.


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