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Parental reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions in children in Lagos, Nigeria
  1. K A Oshikoya1,2,
  2. I O Senbanjo2,
  3. O F Njokanma2
  1. 1
    Pharmacology Department, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
  2. 2
    Paediatrics and Child Health, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
  1. Dr Kazeem A Oshikoya, Academic Division of Child Health, University of Nottingham, Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3DT, UK; mgxko1{at}


Objectives: To determine the feasibility of parental reporting of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) to community pharmacies in Nigeria.

Methods: Fifteen registered pharmacies were randomly selected in Lagos, Nigeria. Caregivers who procured antibiotics, antimalarials, paracetamol or ibuprofen for a child up to 12 years of age in these pharmacies between July and September 2007, were asked to report suspected ADRs in their child by filling in a questionnaire given to them by the pharmacist. If the caregivers suspected an ADR within 5 days of administering the medicine, they were asked to return the questionnaire within the following 7 days.

Results: 9023 drugs were procured for 2868 children (1807 (63%) of whom were male) and 689 (8%) of these drugs were administered by injection. Antibiotics (1975, 24%) were the most frequently procured type of drug of the four groups surveyed (antibiotics, antimalarials, paracetamol and ibuprofen) and chloroquine (445, 46%) was the most frequently procured antimalarial. 509 (18%) caregivers reported 575 suspected, mostly mild, ADRs (509 to antibiotics, 42 to antimalarials and 24 to analgesics). The two most frequently reported suspected ADRs were diarrhoea in 292/575 (51%) children and skin rashes in 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.

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  • Funding: None.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Pharmacists’ Council of Nigeria.