Prescription practice of antihistamines for acute upper respiratory tract infections in pediatric patients in a local emergency department in Hong Kong.

Research paper by Chun Tat CT Lui

Indexed on: 27 Jan '17Published on: 27 Jan '17Published in: World journal of emergency medicine


Currently there is very limited data in the literature assessing the prevalence of antihistamine prescription, and there is no local prevalence data about the prescription of antihistamine agents among primary practitioner and emergency physicians. The objectives are 1) to report the prevalence of antihistamine prescription for children less than 6 years old with acute upper respiratory infection and 2) to explore the associated factors for the prescription practice.This is a cross-sectional study. All consecutive cases of paediatric patients aged 6 or below who presented to the emergency department during a study period of one week from April 1 to July 4, 2009 with diagnosis of acute upper respiratory infection were included. Totally 162 patients were included.Among the 162 cases, 141 (87%) patients were prescribed one antihistamine of any group. Sixty (37%) patients were prescribed two or more antihistamines. In multivariate logistic regression model, age was found to be significantly (P<0.001) associated with multiple antihistamine prescription (OR=1.042, 95%CI=1.02 to 1.06). Years of graduation of attending physician for more than 5 years was also a strong predictor of multiple antihistamine prescription (OR=4.654, 95%CI=2.20 to 9.84, P<0.001).In the local emergency department, patients' age and the years of graduation from medical school of the attending physician were predictors of multiple antihistamine prescription for acute upper respiratory infections for children aged less than 6.