Background Children are still prescribed age contraindicated drugs, but information about the number and type of these drugs dispensed for children in the Netherlands is limited. Objective To determine the incidence and prevalence of contraindicated drugs that were dispensed for the use by children. Setting The study was conducted in the Netherlands with routinely collected data from 95% of all community pharmacies. Method We performed a one-year nationwide observational study where all patients aged 17 years or younger who have received at least one prescription in 2016 were included. Contraindicated drugs were selected, according to the 5th level of ATC code, using different information sources. Main outcome measure The proportion of (newly) contraindicated drugs that were dispensed to children. Results In total, 3.9% of all children received at least one drug that was contraindicated for their age. The highest percentage of contraindicated drugs that was dispensed, was observed in patients aged 1-2 years and 13-17 years (7.0 and 5.7%, respectively) and the percentage of contraindicated drugs that were dispensed was higher in female than in male patients (4.3 and 3.6%, respectively; p value < 0.001). Conclusion The results of this study show that a substantial percentage of children received a drug that was conta-indicated for their age, and it happes more in female than in male patients. Furthermore, the information about this type of contraindications is limited and inconsistent.
Keywords: Age; Children; Contraindication; Dispensing; Netherlands; Paediatrics.