Objectives: To determine the feasibility of parental reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in their children to community pharmacies in Nigeria.
Methods: Fifteen registered pharmacies were randomly selected from each division of Lagos Island, Ikeja and Ikorodu in Lagos, Nigeria. Caregivers who procured antibiotics, antimalarials, paracetamol or ibuprofen for a child up to 12 years in these pharmacies, between July and September, 2007, were asked to report suspected ADRs in this child after using the medicine. Reporting was by filling a questionnaire containing a list of symptoms/ADRs given to them by the pharmacist. If the caregivers suspected an ADR during the next 5 days, they were asked to return the questionnaire within the next 7 days.
Results: A total of 9023 drugs were procured for 2868 children, of whom1807 (63%) were males. 689 (8%) procured drugs were injections. Out of the four drugs surveyed (antibiotics, antimalarials, paracetamol and ibuprofen), antibiotics 1975 (24%) were the most frequently procured. Chloroquine 445 (46%) was the most frequently procured antimalarial. 509 (18%) caregivers reported 575 suspected ADRs (509 to antibiotics, 42 to antimalarials and 24 to analgesics). Most of the suspected ADRs were mild. The two most frequently reported suspected ADRs were diarrhoea 292/575 (51%) and skin rashes 103/575 (18%). The overall prevalence of ADRs in these children was 509/2868 (18%).
Conclusion: Parental reporting of suspected ADRs to antibiotics, antimalarial and analgesics in their children is feasible in Nigeria. This method of pharmacovigilance should be used more extensively.