Assessment of the Antibiotics and Other Drug Prescribing Patterns in a Primary Health Care Setting
Introduction: Appropriate drug use is critical in lowering global morbidity and death. Prescribing indicators are useful for quantitatively analysing critical aspects of prescribing practice, as well as regulating rationality in drug therapy and resource usage. Hence this study was aimed at assessing the drug prescribing pattern using WHO prescribing indicators at the primary health care level.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted during the first 2 weeks of July 2021 in the rural health centre of a tertiary care hospital in Chengalpattu, Tamil Nadu. All prescription copies from the outpatient pharmacy during the study period were collected and analysed using WHO prescribing indicators to assess the rational use of drugs. Prescriptions containing ineligible handwriting were excluded. The data collected from 340 prescriptions were analysed using IBM-SPSS, v21.0. Quantitative variables were described in terms of percentage.
Results: Per prescription, the average number of medications was 3.7. Antibiotics and injections prescribed were 32.9% and 30.6% respectively. The most commonly given antibiotics were amoxicillin (23.9%), azithromycin (4.4%), and metronidazole (3.9%). The percentages of medications prescribed by generic name and from the essential pharmaceuticals list, respectively, were 80.3% and 100%.
Conclusion: This deviation from normal standards reveals that unnecessary drug use is still obvious in actual clinical practice and persists as a public health challenge. Prescription standards should be improved among health professionals and the negative consequences of inappropriate drug and antibiotics prescription should be explained.
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