Use of medicines in neonate and infants: A report of mothers’ practices

Ufuoma Shalom Ahwinahwi Valentine Uche Odili Magdalene Odunvbun Anthony Ifeanyi Okeke Uche Everister Soeze   

Open Access   

Published:  May 17, 2023

DOI: 10.7324/JAPS.2023.5962

In developing countries, mothers of neonates and infants use medicines recommended by personnel other than the physician in the management of illnesses in their young. Mothers’ self-reported medicines use in neonates and infants as it relates to incidence, types of medicines used, reasons for use, and personnel recommending the medicines were evaluated. This cross-sectional study included mothers of children aged 1 year and under attending vaccination clinics across three senatorial districts in Delta State, Nigeria. Data which included socio-demographics, information on medicines used such names of medicines, reasons for use, duration of use, personnel recommending medicines, and other remedies used were taken. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and reported as percentages and proportions. Mothers of 782 children aged 1 year and under were included in the study. Incidence of medicines use was 91.3%. A total of 2,236 medicines were administered with 437 (19.5%), 646 (29.0%), 573 (25.6%), and 71 (3.2%) were recommended by the physician, nurse, mother of child, and pharmacist, respectively. Paracetamol was the most frequently used medicine (673, 30.1%) while fever and pain were the major reasons for medicines use. Majority of children were exposed to medicines use and infantile conditions were frequently treated without a physician’s advice.

Keyword:     Neonates infants medicines use pediatrics mothers-reported


Ahwinahwi US, Odili VU, Odunvbun M, Okeke AI, Soeze UE. Use of medicines in neonate and infants: A report of mothers’ practices. J Appl Pharm Sci, 2023.

Copyright: © The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

HTML Full Text


Adam VY, Abhulimhen-Iyoha BI. Teething: beliefs and behaviors of mothers attending well baby clinics in Benin City, Nigeria. Afr J Med Health Sci, 2015; 14:8-12.

Adegboyega AA, Onayade AA, Salwu O. Care-seeking behaviors of caregivers for common childhood illnesses in Lagos Island local government Nigeria. Niger J Med, 2005; 14(1):65-71.

Adimorah GN, Ubesie AC, Chinawa JM. Mothers' beliefs about infant teething in Enugu, South-east Nigeria: a cross sectional study. BMC Res Notes, 2011; 4:228.

Agbaje EO, Uwakwe LO. Irrational use of antimicrobial agents in Surulere local government area of Lagos State, Nigeria. Nig Q J Hosp Med, 2003; 13:68-71.

Ahwinahwi US, Odili VU, Eghwrudje RE. Prescribing pattern in a pediatric outpatients clinic of a secondary healthcare facility in Delta State, Nigeria. Afr J Pharm Res Dev, 2021; 13 (1):018-25.

AlAteeq MM, AlBader BO, Al-Howti SY, Alsharyoufi M, Abdullah JB. Parent's knowledge and practice in home management of fever in their children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. J Fam Med Prim care, 2018; 7 (5):12-18.

Bankole OO, Lawal FB. Teething: misconceptions and unhealthy practices among residents of a rural community in Nigeria. Int Q Community Health Educ, 2017; 37(2):99-106.

Boseley S. (Contaminated medicine kills 84 children. The Guardian, 2009. Available via nigeria. (Accessed 14 January 2022)

Chinawa JM, Ubesie AC Adimora GN Obu HA, Eke CB. Mothers' perception and management of abdominal colic in infants in Enugu, Nigeria. Niger J Clin Pract, 2013; 16 (2):169-73.

Elbur AI, Yousif MA A Albarraq AA, Abdallah MA.Parental knowledge and practices on infant teething, Taif, Saudi Arabia. BMC Res Notes, 2015; 8:699.

Ezechukwu CC, Egbuono I, Chukwuka JO. Drug treatment of common childhood symptoms in Nnewi: what mothers do. Niger J Clin Pract, 2005; 8 (1):1-3.

Gohar UF, Khubaib S, Mehmood A. Self-medication trends in children by their parents. J Dev Drugs, 2017; 6(2):173.

Headley I, Northstone K. Medication administered to children from 0-7.5 years in the Avon longitudinal study of parents and children(ALSPAC). Eur J Clin Pharmacol, 2007; 63920:189-95.

Ispas RS, Mahoney EK, Whyman RA. Teething signs and symptoms: persisting misconceptions among health professionals in New Zealand. N Z Dent J, 2013; 109:2-5.

Lawani EU, Akhogba AO. Parental perceptions and home management of pyrexia in children in a malaria endemic area. Int J Med Med Sci, 2015; 7(2):20-5.

Lubrano R, Paoli S, Bonci M, Ruzza L, Ceccheti C, Falsaperla R, Pavone P, Matin N, Vitaliti G, Gentie I. Acetaminophen administration in pediatric age: an observational prospective cross-sectional study. Ital J Pedriat, 2016; 42:20.

Nwolisa CE, Erinaugha EU, Ofoleta SI. Prescribing practices of doctors attending to underfives in a children's outpatient clinic in Owerri, Nigeria. J Trop Pediatr, 2006; 52(3):197-200.

Obu HA, Chinawa JM, Ubesie AC, Eke CB, Ndu IK. Paracetamol use (and/or misuse) in children in Enugu, south-east, Nigeria. BMC Pediatr, 2012; 12:103.

Okunola OA. Patterns of self-medication practices by caregivers of under-five children in south-western Nigeria. Child Care Pract, 2020:1- 11; doi:10.1080/13575279.2020.1845121.

Olatunya OS, Adeniyi AT, Babatola AO, Fatunla OA, Olajuyin OA, Ogundare EO, Komolafe AK, Fadare JO, Oyelami OA. Teething beliefs, misconceptions, and practices among mothers attending a tertiary hospital in Nigeria: implications for child health and clinical practice. J Nepal Paediatr Soc, 2020; 40(3):247-54.

Olayemi SO, Akinyede AA, Oreagba AI. Prescription pattern at primary healthcare centres in Lagos State. Niger Postgrad Med J, 2006; 13(3):220-4.

Oshikoya KA, Chukwura HA, Ojo OI. Evaluation of outpatient paediatric drug prescriptions in a teaching hospital in Nigeria for rational prescribing. Paediatr Perinat Drug Ther, 2006; 7(4):183-8.

Oshikoya KA, Njokanma OF, Bello JA, Ayorinde EO. Family self-medication for children in an urban area in Nigeria. Paediatr Perinat Drug Ther, 2007; 8(3):124-30.

Oshikoya KA, Senbajo IO, Njokanma OF. Self-medication for infants with colic in Lagos, Nigeria. BMC Pediatr, 2009; 9:9.

Penda CI, Moukoko ECE, Youmba, JFN, Mpondo EM. Characterization of pharmaceutical medication without a medical prescription in children before hospitalization in a resource-limited setting, Cameroon. Pan Afr Med J, 2018; 30:302.

Picciano MF, Fisher KD, Thomas PR, Yetley EA, Mosfegh AJ, Levy PS, Neilsen SJ, Marriot BM. Dietary supplement use among infants, children, and adolescents in the United States, 1999-2002. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 2007; 61(10):978-85.

Pileggi C, Mascaro V, Bianco A, Pavia M. Over-the-counter drugs and complementary medications use among children in Southern Italy. Biomed Res Int, 2015; 8:413912; doi: 10.1155/2015/413912.

Prot-Labarthe S, Weil T, Angoulvant F, Boulkedid R, Alberti C, Bourdon O. POPI (Pediatrics; omission of prescriptions and inappropriate prescriptions): development of a tool to identify inappropriate prescribing. PLoS One, 2014; 9(6):e101171.

Santos DB, Barreto ML, Coelho HL. Drug use and associated factors in children living in poor areas. Rev Saude Publica, 2009; 43 (5):768-78.

Schirm E, van den Berg P, Gebben H, Sauer P, De Jong-van den Berg L. Drug use of children in the community assessed through pharmacy dispensing data. Br J Clin Pharmacol, 2000; 50 (5):473-8.

Strina A, Cairncross S, Barreto ML, Larrea C, Prado MS. Childhood diarrhea and observed hygiene behavior in Salvador, Brazil. Ann Epidemiol, 2001; 157 (11):1032-8.

Vernacchio L, Kelly JP, Kaufman DW, Mitchell AA. Medication use among children <12 years of age in the United States: results from the slone survey. Pediatrics, 2009; 124 (2):446-54.

Ylinen S, Hameen-Anttila K, Sepponen K, Lindblad AK, Ahonen R. The use of prescription medicines and self-medication among children-a population-based study in Finland. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf, 2010; 19 (10):1000-08.

Article Metrics

1 Absract views 2 PDF Downloads 3 Total views

   Abstract      Pdf Download

Related Search

By author names

Citiaion Alert By Google Scholar

Name Required
Email Required Invalid Email Address

Comment required