American Journal of Pharmacological Sciences. 2013, 1(1), 6-9DOI:
Abstract: Prescription analysis illustrates the prescribing behavior of physicians and pinpoint areas of improvement, if any, to help in rationalizing drug use. The present study was undertaken to investigate the trends of drug prescribing by consultants in a general hospital in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. 1239 prescriptions were collected from a governmental general hospital covering the month of April, 2011. The prescriptions were issued to outpatients. Prescribing patterns were analyzed using WHO indicators and focusing mainly on information related to patient, prescriber and the prescribed drugs. The average number of drugs per prescription was 2.2. All prescriptions were head lettered in name of hospital and were handwritten. Generic drugs were prescribed in 19.4% of all prescriptions. Name of patient, age, and sex were present in 100% and so the name, signature and official stamp of the prescriber. None of the prescription contained address of patient, diagnosis of complaint or a history of allergy. The dose of the prescribed drug with its frequency of administration and route of administration were present in 73.2% and 5.6% of prescriptions respectively whereas duration of treatment was mentioned in all prescriptions. Patients were prescribed one, two, three, four or more than four drugs per prescription in 21.3%, 22.18%, 18.56%, 11.94% and 25.66% respectively. The most commonly prescribed therapeutic classes of drugs were antihypertensive drugs (35.68%), antiepileptics (30.9%), antidiabetics (19.49%), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs 8.19%) and anticoagulants (5.57%). Diuretics (28.39%), beta blockers (25.93%) and angiotensin receptor blockers (24.28%) were the most commonly prescribed drugs of the first class (28.39%). The most frequently prescribed antiepileptic was sodium valproate (60.38%) and antidiabetic was metformin (58.71%). The present study pinpointed areas for further improvements to prescription writing and suggests that feedback through personal interviews and workshops may be an effective intervention to enforce rational drug use.