Background: Antibiotics’ rational prescribing is a major goal of the
World Health Organization’s (WHO) global action-plan to tackle
antimicrobial resistance. Evaluation of antibiotic prescribing patterns
is necessary to guide simple, globally applicable stewardship
interventions. The impact of antimicrobial resistance is devastating,
especially in low-income countries. We aimed to introduce ambulatory
data on patterns of pediatric antibiotic prescribing in Jordan, which
could be used to guide local stewardship interventions. Methods: A
cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted by selecting a random
sample of pediatric patients, who attended ambulatory settings in 2018.
Records of outpatients (age 18 years) receiving at least one antibiotic
were included. The WHO’s model of drug utilization was applied, and all
prescribing indicators were included. Multiple linear regression was
performed to examine factors influencing the ratio of prescribed
antibiotics to overall medications per encounter. Results: A total of
20,494 prescriptions, containing 45,241 prescribed drugs, were obtained.
Average number of prescribed drugs per prescription was (2.21 0.98).
77.5% of overall ambulatory prescriptions accounted for antimicrobials.
Only 0.6% of total prescriptions were for injectables. All
antimicrobials (100%) were prescribed by generic-names and from
essential drug list. Antibiotics were most commonly prescribed for
respiratory tract infections. Age, gender, season, and facility type
were significant predictors of prescribed antibiotics to overall
medications ratio. Conclusions: This is the first study of antibiotic
prescribing patterns among outpatient pediatrics that covers wide
regions in Jordan. Results indicate high rates of antibiotics use among
outpatient pediatrics. Such findings necessitate more focused efforts
and regulations that support rational utilization of drugs.