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Paper Description


Pediatric iron preparations for infants in Bahrain; some therapeutic concerns


Authors: Al Khaja KAJ, Sequeira RP, Al Ansari TM, Damanhori AHH, James H, Handu SS
Abstract: Background: Infants and children are at a high risk for medication errors. Objectives: This retrospective study was conducted to determine the type and prevalence of prescribing errors related to pediatric iron preparations prescribed in primary care in Bahrain. Methods: Prescriptions issued for infants and collected at 20 health center pharmacies for 2 weeks were audited, specifically for errors. Results: Of 2,282 prescriptions dispensed for infants (mean age 9.14 ± 0.91 months), 159 (7.0%) included an iron preparation. Iron preparations were mostly prescribed (90.6%) with brand names, several of which were neither listed in the primary care drug list nor were available as pediatric dosage forms. 42 (26.4%) prescriptions were issued without specifying the dosage forms, 14 (8.8%) without the duration of therapy and 4 (2.5%) without dosage. Iron dosage was stated as metric volume (ml) and metric weight (mg elemental iron) units in 78.6% and 9.4% of the prescriptions, respectively. The mean elemental iron (± SD) prescribed for treating anemia was 4.5 ± 1.7 mg/kg body weight. A significant difference was observed between physicians and nurses regarding the amount of elemental iron prescribed for treating anemia. Conclusions: Prescribing of multiple brands of pediatric iron preparations unavailable in the primary care drug list and in pediatric dosage forms, prescribing iron as inconvenient decimal fractions (metric volume units), and omission errors in prescriptions, were common. This may be related to poor communications between the prescribers and the pharmacy services and a lack of information dissemination on newly introduced iron formulations. Moreover, frequent changes in brand availability in primary care may have created confusion for prescribers. The communication between pharmacy services and prescribers should be strengthened, and the procurement of multiple brands should be discouraged. A better management of drug supply and effective policies to minimize prescribing errors are needed in Bahrain.
Published in: International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics;48(3):200 - 205
URL: http://www.dustri.com/nc/de/englischsprachige-zeitschriften/mag/int-journal-of-clinical-pharmacology-and-therapeutics/vol/volume-48/issue/march-20.html
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