Drug prescribing pattern for under-fives in a paediatric clinic in south-western Nigeria
Background: The audit of drug prescribing pattern in under-five children is essential in identifying the various types of non-rational prescribing such as polypharmacy and irrational use of antimicrobials. The primary objective of this study was to determine the drug prescribing pattern for children aged below five years attending the paediatric outpatient clinic of a tertiary hospital in Ado-Ekiti, South-West Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out using the medical records of patients who attended the paediatric clinic of the hospital between April 1 and October 30, 2013. The medical records of patients aged below five years were selected monthly for the period of the study using a regular interval ratio. Drug use indicators were assessed using the WHO guidelines on investigation of drug use in health care facilities.
Results: There were 293(55.7%) prescriptions collected from male patients and 233(44.3% from female patients with a total of 1369 prescribed drugs (2.6 ± 1.1 drugs per prescription). A total of three hundred and seventy-four (71.1%) patients had at least one antibiotic prescribed with antibiotics accounting for 28.2% of all drugs prescribed, while 13.5% of all encounters had an injection prescribed. Prescribing by generic name was done in 68.9 ± 26.5% of all prescribed medications, and 60.4% of all prescribed medications were from the latest version of the Nigerian Essential Drug List. Three hundred and twelve children (59.3%) had at least one anti-malarial drug prescribed while analgesics drugs accounted for 6.1% of all prescriptions.
Conclusion: This study showed that over-prescription of antibiotics, significant use of injections and prescribing by generic name are real issues among Nigerian paediatric prescribers.
Keywords: Prescribing indicators, under-five, outpatients’ clinic, rational prescribing, Nigeria