Short Communications

European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 489-491

First online:

Drug prescription in young children: results of a survey in France

  • J. P. ColletAffiliated withUnité de Pharmacologie CliniqueAssociation de Recherche Epidémiologique en Pédiatrie
  • , N. BossardAffiliated withUnité de Pharmacologie Clinique
  • , D. FloretAffiliated withAssociation de Recherche Epidémiologique en Pédiatrie
  • , J. GilletAffiliated withUnité de Pharmacologie Clinique
  • , D. HoneggerAffiliated withDirection Départementale de l'Action Sanitaire et Sociale
  • , J. P. BoisselAffiliated withUnité de Pharmacologie Clinique
  • , the Epicrèche research group

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A 8.5-month prospective study was performed in the Rhône area of France to study the incidence of infectious diseases in children in day care, and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of drug prescriptions for young children. The families of 1.359 children agreed to participate (98.5% of those selected).

During the follow-up period 3.605 infections episodes were reported and 10.706 medications were used, an average of 3.0 medications per episode. Antibiotics were used in the treatment of 2.333 infectious episodes (65%) amoxycillin (36%), cephalosporin (23%), macrolide (17%) and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (9%). Acetylsalicylic acid and paracetamol were used 865- and 1.568-times, respectively. Drugs with multi-active components represented 11.3% of the total number of systemic medicines reported. Paracetamol was prescribed in 59% of cases in a multi-active component drug, whereas this type of product accounted for 83.5% of the antihistamines (used 932-times).

The rationale behind the paediatric prescribing habits of French medical doctors is discussed in relation to results previously obtained in other European countries.

Key words

Drug utilization Antibiotics Infants pediatric prescribing