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Drug use pattern in the ear, nose, throat outpatient department of a rural tertiary-care teaching hospital

Sudhir L Padwal, Madhuri D Kulkarni, Vinod S Deshmukh, Jyoti R Patil, Swapnil S Jadhav, Asha D Jadhav.

Background: It is imperative to evaluate and monitor the drug use patterns from time to time and make suitable modifications in prescribing patterns to increase the therapeutic benefit and decrease the adverse effects to optimize the medical services to the patients. Keeping this scenario in mind, the present study was undertaken.

Objective: To evaluate pattern of drug use in ENT (ear, nose, throat) outpatient department (OPD) of a rural tertiary care teaching hospital using WHO core drug prescribing indicators.

Material and Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was carried for 3 months in the ENT OPD of SRTR Government Medical, Ambajogai, Beed, Maharashtra, India. Data were collected from the prescriptions written by treating surgeons and interviewing patients regarding their understanding of dosage forms.

Results: A total of 3342 drugs were prescribed through 855 prescriptions with average number of drugs per prescription being 3.90 and average number of 2.5 drugs dispensed per prescription. Majority (59.64%) of the patients were male. Antibiotics were the most frequently prescribed drugs (24.86%) followed by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (23.60%), gastroprotective agents (22.55%), and antihistaminics (19.92%). Antibiotics were prescribed in 831 prescriptions (97.19%). Most common route of drug administration was oral (97.75%) followed by topical. Drugs were mostly (80%) prescribed by brand names.

Conclusion: The present study highlights the problems of polypharmacy, overuse of brand names, and symptomatic rather than definitive approach toward patient management. Interventions to rectify overprescription of antibiotics, use of brand names, inadequate labeling of drugs are necessary to improve rational drug use. Standard treatment guidelines, hospital formulary, and educational intervention become essential to modify this behavior to benefit the patient.

Key words: Drug Utilization Study, ENT, Polypharmacy, Prescription Pattern

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