Rationality of utilization of antimicrobial agents in medical intensive care unit of a tertiary care hospital

Krishnendu Mondal, Suvadip Biswas, Aritra Ghosh, Saikat Kumar Dalui, Angana Datta, Supreeti Biswas


Background: Patients admitted to intensive care unit receive multiple medications of different pharmacological classes due to various life threatening ailments. This study was conducted to assess the patterns of usage of antimicrobial agents in medical ICU of a tertiary care hospital and to suggest necessary modifications in prescribing patterns to achieve rational therapeutic practices.

Methods: A cross-sectional observational study was carried out at ICU of the tertiary care hospital for 6 months. From the inpatient case record of ICU relevant data on prescription of each patient was collected. The demographic status, disease data and the utilization of different antimicrobial drug classes and individual drugs were analysed.

Results: Of 753 patients admitted in the medical ICU during the study period, 640 consecutive patients were included for analysis. Male to female ratio was 1.45. Mean age was 63.32±17.93 years. Extensive poly-pharmacy (100%) and drugs with non-generic name (73%) noticed among the prescriptions.Average number of drugs per prescription was 12.1±2.13. Penicillins (51.87%) and cephalosporins (45.78%) were most commonly used antimicrobial drug classes. Piperacillin (37.03%), ceftriaxone (33.28%) and levofloxacin (22.5%) were commonly used antimicrobial drugs. A total of 181 prescriptions contained two and 138 contained three antimicrobial drugs. Piperacillin+tazobactam(37.03%) was the most common fixed dose combination noticed.

Conclusions: Overall extensive poly-pharmacy and drugs with non-generic name noticed among the prescriptions. Few interventional programs should be aimed at control of infections, rational antimicrobial drug prescription to minimize adverse drug events, emergence of bacterial resistance and attenuating unnecessary cost.


Rationality, Antimicrobial agents, Intensive Care Unit, Drug resistance

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