Utilization of antimicrobial agents with and without prescription by out-patients in selected pharmacies in South-eastern Nigeria
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We conducted a study in out-patient pharmacies in South-eastern Nigeria in order to determine the extent of self-medication of antimicrobial agents in this area, assess the dosing error associated with this practice and to ascertain the extent of involvement of community pharmacies.
A survey was carried out daily in selected community pharmacies for a period of 90 days. Data were collected on the number of patients visiting these shops for antimicrobial agents, the number getting their medication with a prescription, the number getting their order without prescription and on the type and dose of antimicrobial agents received.
Main out-come measure
The percentage of patients with prescription and without prescription was compared. The percentage under-dosages or over-dosages associated with how each antimicrobial agent was obtained were compared. The total DDDs of antimicrobial agents dispensed within this period with and without prescription were compared.
A total of 4,128 outpatients visited the shops for antimicrobial agents within the period and were involved in the study. Of this number, 1,742 (42.2%) came with a prescription from qualified medical personnel and 2,386 (57.8%) came without a prescription. A total of 13,693.13 DDDs of antimicrobial agents was dispensed, of which 56.38% was dispensed with prescription and 43.62% was dispensed without prescription. The degrees of under-dosing were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in regimen filled without prescription when compared to those filled with prescription.
Majority of the patients in this region still obtains their antimicrobial agents without a proper prescription, which is associated with sub-therapeutic dosing of these agents. There is a need for better regulation of antimicrobial agents dispensing and utilization in the region.
KeywordsAntimicrobial agents Antibiotics Antimicrobial agents resistance Dispensing Prescription Nigeria
We acknowledge the cooperation and contributions of some members of The Association of Community Pharmacy Practice of Nigeria (ACPN).
This research was funded through personal contributions of the authors only.
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