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Assessment of drug use pattern of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs using the World Health Organization core indicators in a tertiary care teaching hospital – A cross-sectional study

Isswariya Anandan, Nitya Selvaraj, Nishanthi Anandabaskar, R Meenakshi, Anuranjani Dhamodharan, Suganya Ganesan, Mohanasundaram Jayaraman, Meher Ali Rajamohammad.


Background: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed for the management of pain and inflammation. The previous studies suggest that the prescribing pattern of NSAIDs was not in accordance with the current guidelines mentioned by regulatory agencies. Irrational use of drugs can lead to ineffective treatment, adverse drug reactions, and economic burden on patients and society. To overcome this, rational use of drugs should be imperative in health-care system. Furthermore, drug utilization data can help in the formulation of guidelines on clinical use of the drugs and facilitate its rational use. The World Health Organization (WHO) prescribing indicators are used as effective tools in the assessment of drug prescribing practices in health-care facilities.

Aims and Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess drug utilization pattern NSAIDs in a tertiary care teaching hospital using the WHO core prescribing indicators.

Materials and Methods: This was a prospective cross-sectional, study of 3 months duration conducted in the outpatient departments (OPDs) of a tertiary care hospital during the months of March to May 2019. Patients visiting the pharmacy with the OPD drug prescriptions during the study period were randomly chosen. The data were analyzed using the SPSS software and comparison was done using Chi-square test.

Results: A total of 600 prescriptions were analyzed, among which 253 had NSAIDs prescribed. The average number of drugs per prescription was 3.15 ± 1.2. NSAIDs were prescribed as an injection in only 9.5% prescriptions. Percentage of drugs prescribed from the National List of Essential Medicines was 41.1%. Percentage of NSAIDs prescribed by generic name was 26.5%.

Conclusions: Periodic monitoring of prescription pattern is mandatory to promote the rational use of drugs. There is a need for increase in generic prescribing and also to improve the adherence of prescribing drugs from the essential medicine list.

Key words: Drug Utilization; Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs; World Health Organization Indicators

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