Monitoring Adverse Drug reactions in children using community pharmacies: a pilot study

D. stewart, Peter Joseph Benedict Helms, D. mccaig, Christine Margaret Bond, James Stuart McLay

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14 Citations (Scopus)



To determine the feasibility of a community pharmacy-based parental adverse drug reaction (ADR) reporting system for children.


Prospective study of parent-reported ADRs using a questionnaire issued to the parent or guardians of children 0-11 years of age collecting prescribed medicine for amoxicillin, and/or salbutamol, and collecting prescribed medicine for, or purchasing, paracetamol or ibuprofen suspension.


Seven community pharmacies in Grampian, Scotland.


During a 4-week period 360 prescriptions or purchases for the study medications occurred. Two hundred and sixty-seven parents (85.5%) agreed to participate in the study. One hundred and six participants (40%) returned a total of 122 questionnaires. The demographics of responders and nonresponders including medication, age of child, and social status as assessed by the Depcat score were similar. There was no evidence of under-representation of any socio-economic group. Possible adverse events were detected using a symptom tick list and perceived ADRs using free text entry. Using the symptom tick list approach the most commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (28.9%) and tiredness (31.6%) for amoxicillin. The levels of diarrhoea and tiredness reported for ibuprofen, paracetamol and salbutamol were 15% and 20%, 7.4% and 18.5%, and 20% and 0%, respectively. Using the freehand section of the questionnaire 15 specific ADRs were reported by parents (12.3%). Eight children (21.2%) reported ADRs attributed to amoxicilin [diarrhoea (n = 4), fever (n = 1), anorexia (n = 1), hyperactivity (n = 1) and nonspecific (n = 1)], five to paracetamol [diarrhoea (n = 3), anorexia, irritability, crying and very angry (n = 1) and not stated (n = 1)], two to ibuprofen [diarrhoea (n = 1), not stated (n = )]. Only one off-label prescription was identified and this was for salbutamol syrup prescribed to a child under 2 years of age.


The prospective monitoring of paediatric ADRs, using a questionnaire issued to parents or guardians in the community pharmacies, is feasible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)677-683
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • adverse drug reactions
  • children
  • community
  • parental
  • pharmacy
  • questionnaire
  • pediatric wards
  • general-practice
  • pharmacovigilance
  • outpatients


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