Prescribing pattern in orthopedics outpatient department of a medical college in India

Indranil Banerjee, Tania Bhadury, Mukesh Agarwal


Background: Periodic evaluation of drug utilization pattern is necessary to promote rational drug use by. In orthopedics practice, the prescribing pattern needs to be regularly monitored since many of the drugs prescribed carry untoward adverse effects. In this backdrop, the present study was conducted to explore the prescribing pattern in orthopedics outpatient department (OPD) of a medical college in Eastern India.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at a Tertiary Care Medical College in West Bengal. The prescriptions of all consecutive patients attending the orthopedics OPD for the first time (except post-surgical follow-up) were included in the study. Data analysis was done using descriptive statistical methods: frequencies, percentage, mean, and standard deviation.

Results: A total of 837 prescriptions were analyzed with an average number of drugs per prescription being 2.57. Among the drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were most commonly prescribed (64.14% [1383/2156]) followed by anti-ulcer drugs (13.58% [293/2156]), centrally acting muscle relaxants (21.4% [323/1516]), multivitamins and minerals (9.09% [196/2156]), and others (antibiotics, anti-gout drugs, etc.,) (5.12% [110/2156]). Drugs were prescribed in the generic name in 35.72% (770/2156) of prescriptions. A total of 71.56% (1543/2156) of drugs were prescribed from national essential medicine list. Antibiotics were prescribed in 53 encounters (53/2156 [2.46%]) and 93 prescriptions (4.38%) mentioned administration of injectables. The frequency of drug administration and the duration of treatment was mentioned in 87.81% (1893/2156) and 82% (1768/2156) of the prescriptions, respectively.

Conclusion: The current piece of work pointed out certain lacunae in the prescribing practices of the orthopedicians of the institute as evidenced by low generic prescribing, inadequate information about the duration of therapy and frequency of administration in many prescriptions. 


Prescribing pattern, Orthopedics, Outpatient department

Full Text:



WHO. The Selection of Essential Drugs. WHO Technical Report. Volume. 615. Geneva: WHO; 1977: 36.

Hasmnis AA, Patil SS, Narayan KA, Rashid AK, Mohanty BK. Drug utilization study for acute illnesses in village Banggol, Malaysia; The findings of a household survey. Al Ameen J Med Sci. 2010;3:165-8.

WHO. How to Investigate Drug Use in Health Facilities-Selective Drug Use Indicators. Geneva: WHO Department of Essential Drug and Medicine Policy; 1993: 1-87. Available at Accessed 08 Apr 2010.

Smalley WE, Ray WA, Daugherty JR, Griffin MR. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and the incidence of hospitalizations for peptic ulcer disease in elderly persons. Am J Epidemiol. 1995;141(6):539-45.

Gupta M, Malhotra S, Jain S, Aggarwal A, Pandhi P. Pattern of prescription of non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs in orthopaedic outpatient clinic of a North Indian tertiary care hospital. Indian J Pharmacol. 2005;37:404-5.

Sharma T, Dutta S, Dhasmana DC. Prescribing pattern of NSAIDs in orthopaedic OPD of a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in Uttaranchal. JK Sci. 2006;8:160-2.

Shankar PR, Pai R, Dubey AK, Upadhyay DK. Prescribing patterns in the orthopaedics outpatient department in a teaching hospital in Pokhara, Western Nepal. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ). 2007;5(1):16-21.

Biswas NR, Jindal S, Siddiquei MM, Maini R. Patterns of prescription and drug use in ophthalmology in a tertiary hospital in Delhi. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2001;51(3):