Evaluation of indoor prescriptions of depression in psychiatry department of a tertiary care hospital in North India

Gurpreet Kaur Randhawa, Navyug Raj Singh, Prithwijit Kundu, Swati Prabhakar


Background: Depression is one of most common psychiatric illnesses affecting the human population and poses significant economic burden to society. Prescription for depression usually involves multiple medications sometime irrationally prescribed.

Methods: Present study involved evaluation of 65 indoor prescriptions of patients diagnosed with depression from Psychiatry Department in a tertiary care hospital. The prescriptions were evaluated on basis of WHO Core Indicators for writing a good prescription. The demographic characteristics of the patient population were studied. Number of drugs prescribed per prescription and the average number per prescription were calculated to assess polypharmacy. The cost involved in treatment using latest market data from drug information source and the rationality of prescriptions were also evaluated.

Results: 80% of the prescriptions were not in accordance with the WHO Core Indicators. An average of 2.415±1.102 medications were prescribed per prescription indicating polypharmacy. Insignificant difference was observed in cost per prescription per month of medicines when compared with lowest priced products available in market.

Conclusions: Polypharmacy was found in most prescriptions and monotherapy was instituted in five prescriptions only, with clonazepam as the most prescribed antidepressant drug. Majority of prescriptions did not conform to WHO core indicators for prescription writing.


Prescription analysis, Prescription audit, Polypharmacy, WHO core indicators

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