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An observational prospective study on prescribing pattern of drugs among pregnant women admitted in antenatal ward of a tertiary care teaching hospital in coastal town of South India

Prasanand Sasidharan, Bhanu Prakash Kolasani, Divyashanthi CM.


Background: Pharmacoepidemiological studies may provide an insight regarding the existing drug use pattern and in planning appropriate interventions to ensure rational drug therapy.

Aims and Objectives: This study is aimed to evaluate the prescribing pattern of drugs among pregnant women admitted in antenatal ward of our hospital.

Materials and Methods: An observational prospective study was conducted in 72 pregnant women for a period of 6 months. Each prescription was analyzed for demographic variables, various categories of drugs prescribed, individual drugs prescribed in that category, their dosage forms, the World Health Organization core prescribing indicators, and their teratogenic risk.

Results: Overall 358 medications were prescribed among which vitamin and mineral supplements (57.26%) were the most commonly prescribed category followed by intravenous fluids (IVFs) (12.57%) and antiemetics (8.38%). Among vitamin and mineral supplements, folic acid (30.24%) was the most commonly prescribed drugs. Ringer lactate (46.67%) was the most commonly prescribed IVF. Ondansetron (66.67%) was the commonly prescribed antiemetics. Most commonly prescribed antimicrobial agents were metronidazole and mebendazole (27.59% each), antiulcer drug was ranitidine (87.5%), analgesic was paracetamol (58.33%), and tetanus toxoid was the only vaccine prescribed. Majority of drugs (75.69%) were prescribed by generic name. Average number of drugs per prescription was 4.97. Percentages of encounters with antibiotic prescribed were 8.10%. The percentage of injections prescribed was 22.91% and that of drugs prescribed from the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) was 95.53%. Tablet (43.58%) was the common drug formulation. According to teratogenic risk, category B (56.25%) was highest.

Conclusion: On the whole, vitamin and mineral supplements were the most commonly prescribed drugs in our study. Prescription by generic name was high, usage of antibiotics and injections was less, and nearly all drugs were prescribed from NLEM, which indicates rational prescription. Usage of category B drugs must be reduced, and complete avoidance of category D drugs is advised.

Key words: Antenatal Ward; Generic Name; National List of Essential Medicines; Prescribing Pattern

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