Prescription audit in a paediatric sickle cell clinic in South-West Nigeria: A cross-sectional retrospective study
Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic haematological disorder that affects millions of people around the world especially people of African heritage. The treatment of the symptoms of SCD includes the use of analgesics, antibiotics, and anti-malarial drugs. Studying the pattern of drug prescription is a veritable tool for establishing the current practice and how it conforms to existing guidelines.
Objectives: The main objective of this study was to assess the pattern of drug prescription in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) attending the paediatric outpatients’ clinic of a tertiary care centre in Ado-Ekiti, South-West Nigeria.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional retrospective study carried out using the medical records of all patients with SCD who attended the paediatric outpatient clinic of the teaching hospital between January 1 and December 31, 2014. The information retrieved from the case notes included the bio-demographic data, associated co-morbid conditions and the list of prescribed drugs.
Results: A total of 202 SCD patients aged below 18 years were seen in the clinic during the study period with males accounting for 61.9% of them. The mean age of all patients was 6.9 ±3.8 yrs. A total of 1015 medications were prescribed during the study period giving a mean of 5.02 ± 1.9. Vitamins/micronutrients, anti-malarial drugs, antibiotics and analgesics accounted for 41.4%, 29.0%, 15.7% and 13.9% of all prescribed drugs respectively. Antibiotics from the penicillin group were the most commonly prescribed followed by macrolides and cephalosporins while Ibuprofen (60.3%) and Acetaminophen (32.6%) were the commonly prescribed analgesics.
Conclusion: High rate of antibiotic prescription, low use of opioid analgesics and non- prescription of prophylactic penicillin/ pneumococcal vaccination were the main findings in this study. There is need for the introduction of standard treatment protocols for this group of patients.