Inappropriate antibiotic therapy is accelerating the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are predominantly caused by viruses, resulting in the prescription of antibiotics to a few selected patients. Previous studies in primary health care centers (PHCCs) in Indonesia have shown a high percentage of antibiotic therapy for URTIs. This study tries to analyze the difference in profiles of antibiotic prescription in the treatment of children and adults with URTI in Bangka Tengah, Indonesia.
Random prescriptions from patients diagnosed with URTIs (sinusitis, bronchitis, common cold, and pharyngitis) from all PHCCs in Bangka Tengah were collected from January to February 2018. Prescriptions from patients with overlapping diagnoses, such as URTI with diarrhea or typhoid, were excluded.
During the two months of data collection, 1348 prescriptions for adults and children with URTIs were studied. Children were 1.30 (95% CI, 1.03–1.58) times more likely to be treated with antibiotics compared to adults. Amoxicillin was the most commonly prescribed antibiotic both in children (92.3%) and adults (78.6%). Ciprofloxacin was commonly prescribed in adults (14.6%) but not in children (0.3%).
This study confirms the major antibiotic overuse in patients with URTI, especially in children. Owing to the fact that children are more likely to get URTI of viral origin, they receive high percentage of antibiotic therapy. These findings support the need for collaborated intervention to decrease unnecessary prescription of antibiotics in Bangka Tengah.
Research funding: We thank to Tahir Foundation professorship program (Dr. Suharjono) for supporting the study.
Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.
Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.
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