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Objectives: This study aimed to describe patterns of prescribing co-amoxiclav to children aged ≤5 years at a polyclinic in Oman and to assess level of adherence to the antibiotic prescription guidelines outlined by the Omani Ministry of Health (MOH). Methods: This cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted between June and December 2017 at Ibri Polyclinic (IPC) in Ibri, Oman. A random sample of 399 children aged ≤5 years who were prescribed a suspension of co-amoxiclav over the four winter months of 2016 were included in the study. The children’s electronic medical records were reviewed to determine whether the prescription complied with MOH guidelines. Results: The majority of the children were 2–3 years old (52.4%). Overall, 73.9% of prescriptions were written by general practitioners, while 26.1% were written by specialists. Co-amoxiclav therapy was the first line of management in 90.5% of cases, regardless of category of prescriber. Culture tests were ordered in only 43 cases (10.8%), of which five (11.6%) were found to be sensitive to the prescribed co-amoxiclav. Conclusion: Unnecessary antibiotics were prescribed to many paediatric patients attending IPC. Strict enforcement of the MOH antibiotic guidelines is needed to reduce irrational or discretionary prescription of this type of antibiotic. Healthcare providers should receive additional training in evidence-based methods of prescribing antibiotics.
Antibiotics; Children; Co-Amoxiclav; Inappropriate Prescribing; Antibiotic Resistance; Oman.
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