The use of unprescribed antibiotics in management of upper respiratory tract infection in children in Enugu, South East Nigeria

J Trop Pediatr. 2014 Jun;60(3):249-52. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmt111. Epub 2014 Jan 15.


Background: It is a documented fact that upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is more of a viral illness.

Objectives: This study aims at documenting the prevalence of the use of unprescribed antibiotics in children aged <5 years with upper respiratory symptomatology.

Methods: Four hundred twenty-three mother-child pairs were enrolled for this study. Chi-square and logistic regression analysis were used to find association between use of unprescribed antibiotics and variables of interest.

Results: The prevalence of unprescribed antibiotics in children aged <5 years in the management of URTI is 75.9%. The antibiotics abuse was commoner in older children with URTI (45.9% in children aged 12-24 months) and among mothers with higher educational attainment.

Conclusion: Antibiotics abuse among mothers is high. Government, through its responsible agencies, should enforce stricter control or outrightly stop sale of antibiotics over-the-counter to prevent the dreaded antibiotics resistance.

Keywords: URTI; children aged <5 years; unprescribed antibiotics.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Management
  • Drug Resistance, Multiple, Bacterial
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Nonprescription Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination / therapeutic use*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Trimethoprim, Sulfamethoxazole Drug Combination