Prescribing patterns for upper respiratory tract infections: A prescription-review of primary care practice in Kedah, Malaysia, and the implications

Rabiatul Salmi Rezal, Mohamed Azmi Hassali, Alian A. Alrasheedy, Fahad Saleem, Faridah Aryani Md Yusof, Mardhiyah Kamal, Rosminah Mohd Din, Brian Godman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction and aims: It is necessary to ascertain current prescribing of antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) to address potential overuse. A retrospective analysis was conducted of all prescriptions for URTIs among 10 public primary healthcare centers in Kedah, Malaysia, from 1 January to 31 March 2014. Results: A total of 123,524 prescriptions were screened and analyzed. Of these, 7129 prescriptions were for URTI, with 31.8% (n = 2269) containing antibiotics. Macrolides were the most commonly prescribed antibiotic, constituting 61% (n = 1403) of total antibiotics prescribed. There was a statistically significant association between different prescribers and diagnoses (p = 0.001) and a weak positive trend suggesting family medicine specialists are more competent in antibiotic prescribing, followed by medical officers and assistant medical officers (τ = 0.122). Conclusions: Prescribing practices of some prescribers were inconsistent with current guidelines encouraging resistance development. National antimicrobial stewardship programs and further educational initiatives are ongoing in Malaysia to improve antibiotic use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1547-1556
Number of pages10
JournalExpert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Malaysia
  • antibiotics stewardship programs
  • guidelines
  • inappropriate use of antibiotics
  • primary healthcare centres
  • upper respiratory tract infections

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