A prospective observational study of prescription pattern of topical steroids in dermatology OPD, BRIMS, Bidar, India


  • Amrutha D. Torvi Department of Pharmacology, Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, Bidar, Karnataka, India
  • Kashinath Gumma Department of Pharmacology, Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences, Bidar, Karnataka, India




Corticosteroids, Emollients, Prescription pattern


Background: In dermatology practice Glucocorticoids are the most commonly prescribed drugs. Steroids produce dramatic relief in inflammatory and pruritic skin conditions, if they are irrationally used they may lead to adverse effects. Hence this study was done to observe the prescription pattern of corticosteroids.

Methods: It was a prospective observational study. The prescriptions of patient attending the dermatology OPD were screened for the usage of the corticosteroids. The demographic data, chief complaints, diagnosis and the details of the drugs were collected and analysed.

Results: Out of 415 patients screened, 13.97% were prescribed corticosteroids. Corticosteroids prescribed by generic name were 26.01% and brand name was 82.05%. Corticosteroids alone were prescribed in 42.02% and along with antihistaminics/antibiotics/emollients in 66.04%. Corticosteroids were prescribed topically in 86.02% of patients and systemically in 22.04% of patients. Moderately potent steroids prescribed in 80.42% followed by potent (15.07%) and very potent steroids (12.56%). No fixed dose combination drugs were prescribed.

Conclusions: The corticosteroids prescribed by brand names (82.05%) were more than generic names (26.01%), information about the strength of the steroid was not mentioned and usage of emollients was less. This indicates the need for continuous medical education for the clinicians.


Rathi SK, D’Souza P. Rational and ethical use of topical corticosteroids based on safety and efficacy. Indian J Dermatol. 2012 Jul;57(4):251.

Verma SB. Sales, status, prescriptions and regulatory problems with topical steroids in India. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2014 May 1;80(3):201.

Ference JD, Last AR. Choosing topical corticosteroids. Am Fam Physician. 2009 Jan 15;79(2).

Rathi S. Abuse of topical steroid as cosmetic cream: A social background of steroid dermatitis. Indian J Dermatol. 2006 Apr 1;51(2).

Jacob SE, Steele T. Corticosteroid classes: a quick reference guide including patch test substances and cross-reactivity. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Apr 1;54(4):723-7.

Sathoskar RS, Bhandarkar SD, Nirmala NR. Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. 23rd Ed. Noida. Popular prakashan. 2013:916-8.

Kumar AM, Noushad PP, Shailaja K, Jayasutha J, Ramasamy C. A study on drug prescribing pattern and use of corticosteroids in dermatological conditions at a tertiary care teaching hospital. Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res. 2011;9(2):132-5.

Prasad GS, Ragul G, Mohanta GP, Manna PK, Moorthi C. Study of prescribing pattern of topical corticosteroids in the department of dermatology of a multispecialty tertiary care teaching hospital in South India. Int J Res Pharm Sci 2012;3(4):685-7.

Mirshad PV, AK AK, Fasalu RO, TK MM. Prescription audit of corticosteroid usage in the department of dermatology at a tertiary care teaching hospital. Int J Basic Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Jan 31;2(4):411-3.

Rathod SS, Motghare VM, Deshmukh VS, Deshpande RP, Bhamare CG, et al. Prescribing practices of topical corticosteroids in the outpatient dermatology department of a rural tertiary care teaching hospital. Indian J Dermatol. 2013 Sep;58(5):342.

Sweileh WM. Audit of prescribing practices of topical corticosteroids in outpatient dermatology clinics in north Palestine. East Mediterr Health J. 2006;12:161-9.

World health Organization: Facts about Generic Drugs. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/understandinggenericdrugs/ucm167991.htm.

Bewley A, Dermatology Working Group. Expert consensus: time for a change in the way we advise our patients to use topical corticosteroids. Br J Dermatol. 2008 May;158(5):917-20.

Harcharik S, Emer J. Steroid-sparing properties of emollients in dermatology. Skin Therapy Lett. 2014;19(1):5-10.

Moncrieff G, Cork M, Lawton S, Kokiet S, Daly C, Clark C. Use of emollients in dry‐skin conditions: consensus statement. Clin Experiment Dermatol. 2013 Apr;38(3):231-8.




How to Cite

Torvi, A. D., & Gumma, K. (2018). A prospective observational study of prescription pattern of topical steroids in dermatology OPD, BRIMS, Bidar, India. International Journal of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 7(10), 1954–1958. https://doi.org/10.18203/2319-2003.ijbcp20183929



Original Research Articles