A significant number of parents confessed to giving children the antibiotics prescribed for someone else, according to research findings presented by American researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics conference in Orlando, Florida.
The practice promotes antibiotic resistance and the risks posed by children to hazardous dosages, drugs that have ended with harmful degradation products and potential allergens, said study manager Tamara Kahan of Northwell Health in Lake Success, New York.
"Doctors should emphasize the importance of completing all antibiotics so that there are no leftovers, available antibiotics left when it is relevant and the risks of sharing any kind of drug with people for whom it is not prescribed" , said Kahan.
Kahan and his colleagues recruited their parents nationwide through Amazon Mechanical Turk, a complete online marketplace. Finally, they evaluated the responses of 496 parents who met their inclusion criteria. Participants were 61 percent female and 69 percent white, with an average age of 34 years.
Overall, 454 parents, or 92%, said they had abortive antibiotics at home. More than a third of parents (159 or 35%) said they had redistributed the rest to others, including children and adults. The diversion of antibiotics, as called tactics, was more common with drops and liquids than with creams and pills.
Parents sometimes put other members of the family at the same dose as that prescribed for the child who received the prescription. Or they estimated a new dose depending on the age of the family member.
16% of the researchers said they gave their children adult drugs.
It is unknown just how harmful the practice can be, whether for humans or to promote resistance to antibiotics. These questions will be studied in the future, says Kahan.
"The study provides an interesting insight into a common problem of the remaining antibiotics," said Dr. Jordan Taylor, pediatric surgeon at the Stanford University Medical School in California, who did not participate in the research.
"Researchers have found that drugs containing liquid or solution are more often based on and diverted, liquids or solution drugs are almost exclusively used in pediatric patients, as most can not swallow pills. pharmacists on how to handle liquid drugs once the prescription is completed, "said Dr. Taylor.
A limitation of the study is the use by Mechanical Turk researchers to hire participants in the study. Dr. Taylor believes that a study of people hired in this way could not produce findings that are valid for the general public.
Also, Taylor said: "It would be interesting to ask the respondents why they were holding the drugs or if they had discussed what to do with the additional medication with their provider."
SOURCE: bit.ly/2SQD1bx American Academy of Pediatrics, November 5, 2018.