Off-label prescribing of antibiotics for children in a university hospital
Keywords:Prescrição de medicamentos, Uso de medicamentos, Agentes antibacterianos.
Objective: To describe the profile of off-label prescribing of antibiotics for children in a university hospital, identifying therapeutic subgroups, indications and the most frequent dosages, as well as the age of the patients.
Methods: It was a descriptive, quantitative and retrospective study on prescribing of antibiotics in the paediatric unit at hospital, using the technique of documentary research. Data were obtained from 246 prescribing controls of antibiotics (Committee of hospital infection control),during the period analized (January to December, 2008). A specific spreadsheet was developed by the researchers to obtain the variables. The drugs were classified according to the Anatomical and Therapeutic Chemical System. To identify the off-label prescribing, it was consulted the database from National Agency of Health Surveillance.
Results: The frequency on off-label prescribing of antibiotics was 13.5%, considering only paediatric indications and dosage. However, considering all uses, the frequency achieved was 35%. The highest frequency of off-label prescribing was verified on children from 28 days to 2 years old and the cephalosporins were more frequents therapeutic subclass.
Conclusion: In Brazil, researches are still incipient on prescribing for paediatric patients. Thus, it is necessary further researches for improving the rational use of medicines.
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