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Table 2 Details on drugs prescribed

From: Patient presentation and physician management of upper respiratory tract infections: a retrospective review of over 5 million primary clinic consultations in Hong Kong

  Year of attendance  
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010  
Mean number of drugs 3.1 3.1 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2  
Number of drug items per prescription        
0 2.7% 2.7% 2.3% 1.3% 1.3% 1.1%  
1 5.7% 5.5% 5.1% 5.1% 5.5% 5.0%  
2 21.2% 20.4% 19.6% 19.7% 19.8% 18.3%  
3 34.6% 33.8% 33.3% 33.0% 32.4% 32.1%  
4 27.8% 28.5% 29.7% 30.9% 31.0% 33.0%  
>4 8.1% 9.2% 10.0% 10.0% 10.0% 10.5%  
Proportion of prescriptions containing      Current evidence
Analgesics        
Paracetamol 58.3% 60.1% 59.8% 59.1% 58.7% 58.9%  May reduce fever
NSAIDs 3.0% 3.6% 4.2% 4.3% 4.5% 4.9%  May reduce pain
COX-II inhibitors 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%  No evidence
Antibiotics 8.1% 8.1% 6.8% 4.9% 4.4% 5.1%  
Antihistamines        
Sedating 81.1% 80.1% 82.3% 82.4% 80.8% 79.9%  Ineffective
Non-sedating 0.5% 0.3% 0.3% 0.3% 0.6% 1.2%  
Cough syrup        
Expectorant 36.8% 35.6% 36.3% 36.3% 34.0% 33.8%  Not recommended in children
Codeine 7.1% 6.9% 6.7% 6.5% 6.6% 6.3%  Limited evidence
Mucolytic 20.9% 22.2% 23.0% 24.0% 24.0% 25.0%  May reduce symptoms
Oral α-agonist 0.6% 0.4% 0.3% 0.2% 0.2% 0.2%  Modest effect in adults
Oral β-agonist 4.4% 4.7% 4.2% 4.1% 3.7% 4.1%  No evidence
Theophylline 1.1% 1.0% 1.0% 0.9% 0.8% 0.9%  No evidence
Others        
Throat lozenges 34.7% 34.9% 35.6% 37.5% 39.9% 40.4%  No evidence
Lysozyme 10.6% 11.8% 13.8% 14.5% 14.9% 15.6%  No evidence
Neozep 0.6% 0.3% 0.3% 0.2% 0.0% 0.1%