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.
- antibiotics stewardship programs
- inappropriate use of antibiotics
- primary healthcare centres
- upper respiratory tract infections