An in-depth study of drugs prescribing pattern in the Surgery Department of a Tertiary Care Teaching Institute in Northern India

Raj Kumar, Kamlesh Kohli, D. S. Sidhu, Navjot Kaur, Mala Chandra, Monique Garg


Background: In surgical patients, a number of drugs are prescribed to prevent post-operative infections and to relieve pain. Therefore, prescription audit should be periodically performed in Department of Surgery to analyze the present scenario of drugs prescribed for the surgical/post-operative patients. This will help us to use the medicines rationally and decrease the adverse effects in surgical patients. The main aim of the study was to evaluate the drugs prescribing pattern in the Surgery Department in Tertiary Care Teaching Institute.

Methods: Patients’prescriptions or case record forms were randomly collected over a period of 1 year from the Department of Surgery at GGS Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, Punjab (India) for analysis and rationalization.

Results: A total of 900 prescriptions was collected and analyzed for drugs used in surgical patients. Average number of drugs prescribed is 4.26. The most commonly prescribed drugs were anti-microbial agents (AMAs), gastrointestinal tract (GIT) related, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and multivitamins and trace elements, and their percentages were 37.90%, 23.36%, 14.14 %, and 9.11% respectively. About 95% drugs were prescribed by non-generic (Trade) names. Drugs prescribed from National Essential Medicines List (EML) and World Health Organization EML were 69.25% and 45.31% respectively. Average cost per prescription per day was Rs. 610/- (INR) or $10.34 USD in a surgical patient.

Conclusions: There is a high tendency and frequency to prescribe four and more than four drugs to post-operative patients. Most drugs prescribed were AMAs, GIT related, NSAIDs and Multivitamins and trace elements. There is an urgent need to develop proper prescription writing skills in budding doctors regarding the use of EML/drugs list and generic medicines to reduce the cost of treatment.


Prescription audit, Prescribing indicators, Essential medicines list, Anti-microbial agents, Post-operative patient, Generic medicines

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