What is Antimicrobial Stewardship?
The term ‘antimicrobial stewardship’ is defined as ‘an organisational or healthcare-system-wide approach to promoting and monitoring judicious use of antimicrobials to preserve their future effectiveness. It may also be as a collective set of strategies to improve the appropriateness and minimise the adverse effects of antibiotic use including resistance, toxicity and costs. Stewardship is achieved by promoting the selection of the optimal antibiotic regimen, dose, duration and route of administration.
This study titled “Antibiotics in the Hands of Community Pharmacists: A Prospective Avenue for Community Based Antimicrobial Stewardship Initiative” was conducted by Isabel N. A., Joshua O. I. and Efe A. E. all of the Department of Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacy Practice, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
According to the authors, Antimicrobial Stewardship (AMS) is high on the agenda of global health organizations with an increasing interest in community-based AMS initiatives, as this is where the majority of antibiotic use occurs.
Their study sought to evaluate the practice of community pharmacists toward antibiotic use and the likely need for AMS. As a result, they employed a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted among registered community pharmacists in Benin City, Nigeria. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection. All study participants were duly informed on study objectives and informed consent was sought. The data obtained from the study were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 22.
The researchers reported that of the 101 pharmacists who participated in the study, 92 (91.1%) dispensed antibiotics without prescription. The most prescribed antibiotic is Ciprofloxacin 59(58.42%), followed by Amoxicillin 42 (41.58%) and Amoxicillin-Clavulanic acid 41 (40.59%). Ninety-six (95%) of the pharmacists use antibiotics agents as an adjunct in Typhoid fever treatment, and 78(77.2%) of them use it as an adjunct in Malaria treatment.
The researchers observed that Cost, 32 (31.68%) is the most common reason for dispensing antibiotics without laboratory investigation and physician’s consultation. Most (93.1%) pharmacists agree that they needed training on antimicrobial stewardship practice. They also noted that the antibiotic prescription pattern among community pharmacists was high, the possibility of antibiotic misuse in the hands of community pharmacists without appropriate guidelines cannot be overlooked. And this emphasizes the need for the inclusion of community pharmacies in antimicrobial stewardship programs.
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