(Reuters Health) – A significant number of parents have admitted to giving their children antibiotics that are prescribed for someone else, according to a survey conducted by US researchers at the US Pediatric Academy of Orlando, Florida.
The practice promotes resistance to antibiotics and the risk to children of exposure to dangerous doses, the same drugs with harmful products of degradation and potential allergens, study leader Tamara Kahan of Northvell Health at Lake Success in New York.
"Doctors should emphasize the importance of completing the entire course of antibiotics so there are no residues, disposal of antibiotics residues when relevant, and the risk of giving any type of drug with people for whom it is not prescribed," Kahan said.
Kahan and colleagues recruited parents throughout the territory through Amazon Mechanical Turk, a popular online marketplace. In the end, they evaluated the responses of 496 parents who met the criteria for inclusion. Participants were 61% women and 69% white, with an average age of 34 years.
In all, 454 parents, or 92 percent, said they had antibiotics that remained in the house. More than one-third of these parents (159 or 35 percent) said redistribution of remnants to others, including children and adults. Antibiotic redirecting, as the tactic is called, was more common with droplets and liquids than with creams and pills.
Parents sometimes place other family members at the same dose prescribed for a prescription child. Or they estimated a new dose according to the age of family members.
Even 16 percent of respondents said they received their children's medication for adults.
It is unknown exactly how bad the practice is, whether to humans or by promoting resistance to antibiotics. These questions will be studied in the future, says Kahan.
"The study provides an interesting insight into the common problem of" residues "of antibiotics," Dr. Jordan Tailor, a pediatric surgeon at Stanford University School of Medicine in California who was not involved in the research.
"Researchers have found that liquids or drug-based solutions are more likely to be stored and redirected; medicines for fluid or solution are used almost exclusively in pediatric patients because most can not swallow pills. It seems that donors or pharmacists should provide more teachers about how to Treat with liquid medicines once the prescription is finished, "Dr. Tailor.
The limitation of the study is the use of a mechanical Turkish researcher for recruiting participants in the studio. Dr. Tailor believes that a study by people recruited in this way may not generate findings relating to the general public.
Also, Tailor said: "It would be interesting to ask the respondents why they kept medication, or if they were discussing what to do with additional medication with their donor."
SOURCE: bit.li / 2SKD1bk American Academy of Pediatrics, November 5, 2018