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Prescribing pattern of corticosteroids among the dermatology inpatients in a tertiary care teaching hospital of north India - A retrospective, observational study

Rohini Gupta, Pavan Malhotra.

Background: Glucocorticoids, are one of the commonly prescribed drugs in a large fraction of patients in the dermatology department. The use of corticosteroids has brought a remarkable change in the field of dermatology as these drugs afford a dramatic relief in inflammatory and pruritic skin conditions but may lead to deleterious effects if irrationally used. Moreover, the data related to drug usage pattern of corticosteroids in skin conditions is particularly lacking. Hence, it is vital to study the drug prescribing pattern of corticosteroids in skin diseases.

Aims and Objective: To study the demographic details and drug prescription pattern of corticosteroids in patients with skin diseases.

Materials and Methods: It was a retrospective, observational study carried out on dermatology inpatients over a period of 6 months. Case sheets of the patients were retrieved from medical record department and scrutinized systematically to know about the usage of corticosteroids in various skin conditions. Results: Out of the total 187 inpatients in whom corticosteroids were prescribed, 41.7% (n = 78) were male patients and 58.3% (n = 109) were female patients. The most common conditions for which corticosteroids prescribed were psoriasis in 30.5% patients followed by urticaria in 23.5% of patients. The topical corticosteroids were prescribed for 149 patients. Super potent topical corticosteroids were prescribed in 59.7% of patients whereas potent corticosteroids were prescribed in 26.1% of patients. None of the prescriptions used generic names.

Conclusion: In this study, we observed the safe prescribing pattern for corticosteroids. However, none of the corticosteroids were prescribed by generic name. This indicates the need for continuing medical education for practicing physicians.

Key words: Corticosteroids; Prescribing Pattern; Dermatology

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