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

Salmi Rezal, Rabiatul and Hassali, Mohamed Azmi and Alrasheedy, Alian A and Saleem, Fahad and Yusof, Faridah Aryani Md and Kamal, Mardhiyah and Mohd Din, Rosminah and Godman, Brian (2015) Prescribing patterns for upper respiratory tract infections : a prescription-review of primary care practice in Kedah, Malaysia and the implications. Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy. ISSN 1744-8336

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    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 ten public primary healthcare centres in Kedah, Malaysia from 1st January to 31st March 2014. Results: A total of 123,524 prescriptions were screened and analysed. 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 programmes and further educational initiatives are ongoing in Malaysia to improve antibiotic use