Drug utilization audit of antipsychotics using WHO methodology: recommendations for rational prescribing

Iram Shaifali, Rajib Karmakar, Shalini Chandra, Santosh Kumar


Background: Utilization pattern of antipsychotics has undergone a major shift as the newly introduced atypical antipsychotics have heralded the market. Hence continuous studies on current prescribing trends are needed to provide most updated, effective and rational treatment of psychoses.

Methods: This cross-sectional prospective study was conducted at Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India. OPD tickets of the department of psychiatry for the year 2016-2017 were evaluated for a total of 310 cases. These prescriptions were used to determine the drug utilization of antipsychotics and for their appropriateness against the WHO recommended core prescribing indicators.

Results: A total of 310 patients satisfied the inclusion criteria and a male predominance was seen (male:female= 1.3:1). The most common psychotic disorder diagnosed was schizophrenia (44%). Majority of the patients (76%) received monotherapy and the prescribing trend showed a higher use of atypical antipsychotics (89%) over typical ones (11%). The most commonly prescribed anti-psychotic drugs were olanzapine (31%), followed by risperidone (26%). On analysing prescriptions according to the WHO core prescribing indicators it was observed that average number of antipsychotics prescribed per prescription was 1.32. 24% of drugs were prescribed by generic name and 5.2% were administered via injectable route. Drugs prescribed from National list of Essential Medicine, 2015 constituted 46%.

Conclusions: The high inclination towards the use of atypical antipsychotics observed in our study correlates with the global changing trends in the treatment of schizophrenia. WHO prescribing indicators should be adhered to, to impart rational prescribing.


Antipsychotics, Drug utilization, Olanzapine, WHO Prescribing indicators

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