Drug utilization pattern of upper infections respiratory tract in Pediatrics, at a university teaching hospital, Najran, Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Saad Ahmed Alkahtani

The upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) represent the most common class of acute infection in children. The treatment of most commonly spread respiratory tract infections (RTIs) involves the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics may misuse or overuse while treating URTIs in infected patients. This retrospective observational study was carried out in a pediatric unit of a university teaching hospital, Najran, Saudi Arabia where 370 children of either sex were evaluated for drug utilization pattern against upper respiratory tract infections. The most commonly prescribed antibiotic was azithromycin 38.66%, followed by cefixime 24.16%, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid combination 15.61%. Among all the drugs utilized for the treatment of URTIs, analgesic and antipyretics (30.27%) were the most common class of drug followed by antihistamines (27.83%). The findings extended our understanding and the importance of strategies that have to be implemented to optimize medication use at the pediatric department for URTIs and helped to improvise the prescribing pattern

Conclusions:The study revealed that the majority of children were below 2 years of age. The most common class of the drug prescribed were antibiotics (72.7%) followed by analgesics and antipyretics (30.27%). Only 1.35% (n=5) children were treated without any medication. The approach of combating URTI by symptomatic treatment without prescribing antibiotic must be encouraged. Accurate diagnosis of the disease and its treatment requires major aspects of patient care which becomes even more important in case of pediatrics. Because most of the URTI is of viral origin, hence a strict guideline must be followed for prescribing antibiotics