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Revista Paulista de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0103-0582On-line version ISSN 1984-0462


CARVALHO, Diélly Cunha de; TREVISOL, Fabiana Schuelter; MENEGALI, Bruno Thizon  and  TREVISOL, Daisson José. Drug utilization among children aged zero to six enrolled in day care centers of Tubarão, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Rev. paul. pediatr. [online]. 2008, vol.26, n.3, pp.238-244. ISSN 1984-0462.

OBJECTIVE: Identify the pattern of drug utilization in a six-month period among children aged zero to six years old, in Tubarão, Santa Catarina, Brazil, during 2007. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was carried out using a semi-structured questionnaire administered to parents or caretakers of 413 children included in the survey. After signing consent, parents were asked about the use of prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and other health information. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences 15.0 was used for statistical analysis. RESULTS: Out of 413 children, 195 (47%) were girls and 218 (53%) boys. Their mean age was 3.7±1.3 years. Most parents who answered the questionnaire were mothers (75%) and 43% had eight years of schooling. When asked about medication use in the event of diseases, 47% reported that they use medicines available at home. Among the children, 82 (20%) had chronic diseases and 75 (18%) presented an acute illness at the time of the study. Adverse drug reactions were reported by 82 (20%) of the caretakers, being allergy the most frequent. Antipyretics and analgesics were the medicines most frequently used (45%) in order to treat fever (32%). During the last six months, the use of 763 drugs was reported, corresponding to 1.8 drugs/child. Of these, 41% were prescribed by a physician and 59% as self medication. CONCLUSIONS: Parental frequent practice of self medication in treating children is potentially harmful to health. This study showed that most caretakers follow this practice which can mask serious diseases, provoke adverse reactions and develop bacterial resistance, among other complications.

Keywords : drug utilization; child; self medication.

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