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Medicine use from birth to age two years: the 2004 Pelotas (Brazil) Birth Cohort Study

Edilson Almeida de Oliveira, Andréa Dâmaso Bertoldi, Marlos Rodrigues Domingues, Iná Silva Santos, Aluísio J D Barros

Abstract


OBJECTIVE: To describe medicine use by children at three, 12 and 24 months of age. METHODS: Cross-sectional study using data from the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort (Southern Brazil), including: 3,985 children at three months, 3,907 children at 12 months, and 3,868 children at 24 months of age. The outcome investigated was use of medicine in the 15 days preceding the interview. Information on independent variables (medicine used, who indicated it, how it was obtained, periodicity of use, and therapeutic group) were collected using a standardized questionnaire administered during a home interview with the child's parents. RESULTS: Prevalence of medicine use at three, 12, and 24 months was 65.0% (95% CI: 63.5;66.5), 64.4% (95% CI: 62.9;65.9), and 54.7% (95% CI: 53.1;56.2), respectively. As age increased, there was a reduction in the total number of medicines used and an increase in self-medicine, which reached 34% at 24 months. Furthermore, frequency of sporadic medicine use increased, while that of continuous use decreased. Medicine was purchased mainly using private resources, with roughly 10% of drugs being purchased through the Brazilian National Health Care System. The profile of medicine types used also changed with age. The type of medicine most frequently used were dermatological products (36%) at three months; respiratory system drugs (24%) at 12 months; and analgesics (26%) at 24 months of age. Compared to three months, medicine use at 24 months was characterized by decreased use of digestive tract and metabolism drugs, drugs for the sensory organs, cardiovascular system drugs, and dermatological products, and an increase in systemic anti-infectious drugs, medicine for the skeletomuscular and respiratory systems, analgesics, insecticides, and repellents. CONCLUSIONS: Medicine use in this cohort was high and indicates the need for prioritizing rational use of medicine in early life.

Keywords


Drug Utilization;Infant;Cohort Studies



DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102010000400002

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