oa Southern African Journal of Infectious Diseases - Antifungal products dispensed by a group of community pharmacies in South Africa : original research
There is increasing evidence of Candida spp. becoming resistant to some antifungal agents, particularly the azole group. Few studies have investigated antifungal prescribing. The primary aim of the study was to determine the general prescribing patterns of antifungal products in South Africa. A retrospective, cross-sectional drug utilisation study was conducted on the prescription data of a national community pharmacy group in South Africa for 2010. A total of 1 576 593 antimicrobial products were prescribed, of which antifungal products constituted 7.42%. A total of 84 912 patients received 116 955 antifungal products during 2010 [average 1.38, standard deviation (SD) 1.05]. Diagnoses were not specific. The majority (70.86%) were prescription-only products. Fluconazole was the most frequently prescribed active ingredient (42.14%), followed by nystatin (28.83%) and itraconazole (15.33%). The average age of patients was 37.64 (SD 18.29) years, with patients aged 20-49 years receiving 49.44% of the products. Female patients were prescribed more antifungal products (69.67%) than antimicrobial agents (58.32%). Nystatin (53.07%) and griseofulvin (26.74%) were most frequently dispensed to the age group 16 years and younger. Fluconazole (44.26%) and nystatin (27.27%) were most often dispensed to the age group 65 years and older. The average cost per antifungal product was R123.19. Fluconazole was the most prescribed antifungal product in this study. The need for diagnoses of databases is of the utmost importance when determining the cost of treating different types of fungal infections.
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