Published: 2020-12-23

Prescribing patterns in the management of arthritis in a rural tertiary care teaching hospital

Neha K., Ravi Shankar M.


Background: Based on 2003 National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) data, a projected 67 million (25%) adults aged 18 years or older will have arthritis and 25 million (37%) of those will have arthritis-attributable activity limitations by the year 2030. Objective of this study is to know the prevalence of different types of arthritis, current trends of drug prescribing patterns in its management and to create awareness about rational use of drugs in a rural tertiary care hospital.

Methods: This was an observational study of drug prescriptions among 100 arthritis patients in a tertiary care teaching hospital, India. Patients diagnosed with arthritis with or without co-morbidities were enrolled in the study considering the inclusion and exclusion criteria with a verbal informed consent.

Results: Out of 100 arthritis cases, prevalence of Osteoarthritis (OA) was seen more than Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoarthritis was more commonly seen in males and RA in females. Arthritis was more prevalent in the age group of 36-65 years. Oral route was the most preferred route of administration of drugs and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) were the first choice. Vitamin D3+ calcium was the most commonly prescribed drug in arthritis. Diclofenac was the most commonly used drug for monotherapy in OA and methotrexate in RA.

Conclusions: In this study, some patients diagnosed with RA were treated with NSAIDs as first line and no Disease Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (DMARD) were given. This irrational prescribing trend should be changed. Non-pharmacological treatment has a qualitative role in treating arthritis and should be advised instead of multiple drug therapy.


Prescribing patterns, Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, Vitamin D3+ calcium

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