Drug utilization study in a neonatal intensive care unit of a government tertiary care hospital in Western Maharashtra

Arvind V. Kumbhar, Nimish R. Halasawadekar, Sunita J. Ramanand, Jaiprakash B. Ramanand, Praveen T. Patil, Ruchi D. Shah, Arundhati T. Salunke


Background: Presently drug utilization studies (DUS) are in an evolving era. Current literature search has shown paucity of epidemiological studies in the field of paediatric pharmacology. Hence the present study was designed to assess the drug utilization pattern in neonatal intensive care unit to improvise the current prescription practices, if required and to determine areas in neonatal pharmacology in need of further research.

Methods: A prospective, observational study spanned for a period of one year from January 2015 to December 2015 was conducted at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Government teaching tertiary care hospital, Maharashtra. Data of prescribed drugs was collected. WHO prescribing indicators were used for evaluating DUS. Assessment of exposure rates of different class of drugs in different gestational age groups was done. Data were analysed using descriptive studies.

Results: Data of 205 neonates, showed male preponderance (53.17%) over female neonates (46.83%). With regard to the gestational age, 47.31% were term, 52.68% preterm. Average number of drugs per encounter was 6.69. 76.29% drugs were prescribed by generic name and 69.80 % drugs were from IAP list of essential medicines for children. Mean drug use was 6.23±3.34 per patient. Most common class of drug to which neonates were exposed was antibiotics (96.10%) and amikacin topped the list with exposure rate of 91.22%.

Conclusions: The present study substantiates the need for implementation of institutional antibiotic policies, awareness regarding IAP list of essential drugs for children, prescription by generic name and rational drug use.


Drug utilization study, Exposure rate, Mean drug use, Neonates, NICU

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