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Antimicrobial resistance remains a major global public health concern, and antimicrobial dispensing in community pharmacies is an important factor in preventing this damage. However, the current literature focuses on the technical and attitudinal aspects related to antimicrobial dispensing, with little emphasis on the interventions provided in this service. Thus, this study aimed to determine the antimicrobial dispensing process in community pharmacies. A scoping review was performed in September 2020 using the PubMed, EMBASE, LILACS, Web of Science, and Cochrane databases. The search terms included words related to dispensing, antibacterial agents, and pharmacies in various combinations. Two reviewers screened the titles, abstracts, and full-text articles according to the eligibility criteria, and extracted the data. The findings were presented in a descriptive form. Of the 7713 studies screened, 35 were included, of which 22 (63%) were published in Asia. Most studies followed a cross-sectional design (n = 27), and the simulated patient was the most often used method to assess the antimicrobial dispensing process (n = 22). Moreover, 31 (89%) studies investigated antimicrobial dispensing without prescription, and only four (11%) studies evaluated antimicrobial dispensing with prescription. In the 35 studies, the most frequently asked questions were about drug allergies (n = 19) and patient symptoms (n = 18), and counseling mainly focused on the side effects (n = 14), precautions (n = 14), how to take the medication (n = 12), and duration of medication use (n = 11). Another common intervention was referral (n = 15). Among clinical cases, counseling on medication use occurred often in cases of urinary tract infection (51%) and otitis media (50%). Antimicrobial dispensing processes have been primarily investigated in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on dispensing antimicrobials without prescriptions. During the dispensing process, pharmacists mostly posed minimal questions and counseling, highlighting the deficiencies that persist in this practice. Our results indicate the need for multifaceted strategies, such as implementing educational, regulatory or administrative strategies and changes in cultural background, especially in low- and middle-income countries, that aim to reduce indiscriminate use of antimicrobials. Therefore, qualifying the antimicrobial dispensing process is a fundamental factor for improving the rational use of antimicrobials and reducing microbial resistance. © 2022. The Author(s).


Elindayane Vieira de Souza, Lara Joana Santos Caxico Vieira, Sylmara Nayara Pereira Dos Santos, Sabrina Cerqueira-Santos, Kérilin Stancine Santos Rocha, Divaldo Pereira de Lyra. Antimicrobial dispensing process in community pharmacies: a scoping review. Antimicrobial resistance and infection control. 2022 Sep 17;11(1):116

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PMID: 36116000

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