Evaluation of rational drug use pattern using WHO prescribing indicators in a medical intensive care unit of a tertiary teaching hospital in Kerala, India


  • Shobha P. Department of Pharmacology, Sree Gokulam Medical College, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
  • Messaline Sunitha Department of Pharmacology, Sree Gokulam Medical College, Trivandrum, Kerala, India




Intensive care unit, Prescribing pattern, Polypharmacy, Rational drug use


Background: ICU patients are exposed to more number of life saving drugs and face drug related problems like therapeutic failure, drug interactions and frequent adverse drug reactions. The cost of ICU hospitalisation and money spent on medicines is also a huge burden on these patients. A study of prescribing pattern in an ICU set up will serve as a medical audit to monitor and evaluate the prescribing practices to make it more rational and cost effective.

Methods: A prospective observational study was carried out in a medical ICU of a tertiary care hospital. All the inpatients admitted in the medical ICU during the study period of 2 months were included in the study. The data obtained from the case sheets were used to assess the prescribing pattern and rationality of drug use.

Results: A total of 101 patients were admitted in 2 months. The most common illness for which the patients (22) were admitted was respiratory problems. Average number of drugs per prescription was 6.9. Cardiovascular system (23.9%) drugs were the most frequently prescribed. Pantoprazole (77) was the single most commonly prescribed drug. 40% of the drugs were prescribed from the essential drug list. The average cost of medicines incurred per person in our study was 5126.33 in INR.

Conclusions: Polypharmacy and unwanted prescription of proton pump inhibitors can be avoided by prescribing more generics and drugs from essential drug list.


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How to Cite

P., S., & Sunitha, M. (2017). Evaluation of rational drug use pattern using WHO prescribing indicators in a medical intensive care unit of a tertiary teaching hospital in Kerala, India. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 6(6), 1328–1332. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20172111



Original Research Articles