The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2022 , Vol 64 , Num 1
The potentially harmful excipients in prescribed medications in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Kosovo and available safer alternatives
Blerina Koshi 1-2 ,Arlinda Daka Grapci 1 ,Dashnor Nebija 1 ,Pranvera Breznica Selmani 1 ,Rina Morina 1 ,Maja Simonoska Crcarevska 2 ,Marija Glavas Dodov 2 ,Renata Slaveska Raichki 2
1 Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina”, Prishtina, Republic of Kosovo
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Technology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Skopje “St. Cyril and Methodius”, Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.4136 Background. Medicinal products contain excipients that might be associated with toxicity in neonates. The aim of this study was to investigate the administration of medication containing potentially harmful excipients to neonates hospitalized in Kosovo and to identify the possibility of reducing neonatal exposure to these excipients through product substitution.

Methods. Data on all medication administered to hospitalized neonates from 1st of February to 1st of August 2018 along with patients` demographic data were collected from medical records for each neonate. Excipients were identified from the Summaries of Product Characteristics. Three stage criteria for product substitution were: (1) same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and route of administration; (2) 1 plus same dosage form; (3) 1 and 2 plus same strength.

Results. In total, 100 excipients were found in 2388 prescriptions comprising 67 medications and 60 API administered to 294 (183 preterm and 111 term) hospitalized neonates. The excipients of interest (EOI) were present in 409 (17.1%) prescriptions and were administered to 131 (71.6%) preterm and 52 (46.8%) term neonates through a relatively small number of products (n=27; 32.8%). In relation to prescription frequency, the most common EOI was polysorbate 80, found in 229 (56%) of EOI-containing prescriptions. Substitution with EOIfree products was possible for 14 (63.6%), 12 (54.5%) and 5 (22.7%) products, according to the first-, second- and third-stage criteria, respectively.

Conclusions. We have provided the first detailed description of neonatal exposure to potentially harmful excipients among neonates admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit in Kosovo. Unnecessary exposure could be reduced by using EOI-free products available in the local medicine market. Collaborative initiative is required to build up the evidence on the use of EOI in neonates and raising awareness among health care professionals on use of products without EOI where possible. Keywords : neonates, medication, excipients of interest, neonatal intensive care unit, substitution

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