Medication errors associated with the use of cephalosporins | CMAC

Medication errors associated with the use of cephalosporins

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2017; 19(1):18-24

Journal article


To discover the prevalence and types of medication errors associated with the use of cephalosporins through analysis of national spontaneous reporting database.

Materials and Methods.

We conducted a retrospective analysis of 2324 spontaneous reports concerning adverse drug reactions associated with the cephalosporins. All the reports were submitted to the Russian pharmacovigilance database between 01.01.2012 and 01.08.2014. Approved prescribing drug information, standards of medical care and practical guidelines for certain conditions were used to identify medication errors associated with specific products.


Medication errors were detected for 25.2% of all the spontaneous reports. In 13.1% of these cases two or more errors were made. High prevalence of incorrect use of cephalosporins was discovered in pediatric population – in 53.2% of all the cases of medication errors the patients were under 18 years old. In 35.9% cases of wrong prescription the indication was absent or inappropriate, in 60.0% of these cases antibiotic was used for viral infections.


In our opinion, spontaneous reporting is an effective method of identification of medication errors. We suggest emphasizing the importance of the following aspect: doctors should avoid prescribing antibiotics in viral infections, especially in children.

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