A study on drug prescribing pattern in upper respiratory tract infections among children aged 1-12 years

Sushil Sharma, Garvita Agrawal


Background: The present study was conducted to study and analyse the drug prescribing pattern in Upper Respiratory Tract Infections (URTI's) among patients aged 1-12 years and also to evaluate the rationality of drug use in these cases.

Methods: It was a quantitative, observational, cross-sectional type of study done in a tertiary healthcare centre between February 2015 to May 2015. Two hundred (200) prescriptions were collected of the patients attending OPD and diagnosed with URTI in age group of 1-12 years. Prescriptions of URTI patients who were suffering from other co-morbidities were excluded and only one prescription per patient was collected and utilized for the purpose of the study. The data collected was then analysed for various prescribing indicators as laid down by world health organisation (WHO) for analysis of drug use parameters. The parameters that were analysed were the average number of drugs per encounter, percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name, percentage of encounters with an antibiotic prescribed, percentage of encounters with an injection prescribed and percentage of drugs prescribed from the essential drugs list (EDL).

Results: A total of 200 prescriptions were collected during the study period and analysed for various prescribing indicators as laid down by WHO. The average number of drugs per prescription was 2.38.The percentage of drugs that were prescribed by generic name was 69.39% while the percentage of drugs prescribed from essential drug list (EDL) was 70.23%. A total of 33% encounters were prescribed antibiotics and there was no encounter in which an injection was prescribed. Use of anti-microbial agents (AMA) was seen in 66 of the 200 prescriptions analysed in the study which is around 33% of the encounters. The combination of amoxicillin + clavulanic acid was prescribed maximum being given to 40/200 cases followed by amoxicillin (10 cases), azithromycin (7 cases) and ciprofloxacin (4 cases). 12 encounters received Albendazole. The most commonly prescribed drug in the study was paracetamol which was prescribed in 142/200 cases (71%). The second most commonly prescribed group of drugs were the anti-histaminic agents both first generation (diphenhydramine) and also second generation (cetrizine/L-cetrizine).

Conclusions: The study reflects the current drug prescribing patterns in patients of URTI among patients aged 1-12 yrs. Regular studies such as this are the need of the hour to study drug prescribing practices so that appropriate feedback and awareness is generated among the health care providers on the various aspects of Rational drug therapy. This will not only help the patients by reducing polypharmacy, reduction in antibiotic resistance & reduction of adverse drug reactions but also help the society at large in ensuring the optimum utilisation of the limited health sources esp in a developing country like India.


Prescription patterns in URTI, WHO Prescribing indicators

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