Assessment of Drug use Practices among Patients Visiting Outpatient Department of Dermatology at a Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal.
Introduction: Skin is the part of an integumentary system that constitutes the largest organ of the human body and thus it is exposed to injury by various extrinsic factors such as environmental, chemical, infectious agents as well as intrinsic factors such as metabolic, genetic and immunological. These are the major contributors to disease burden in society. The goal of the study was to assess the current drug use practices and pattern of skin diseases among the patients visiting the outpatient department of dermatology at a Green Pastures Hospital in Pokhara, Nepal.
Methods: A prospective observational study was conducted in an outpatient pharmacy over a period of three months by clinical pharmacists. Patient data collection forms were the tools used to collect data.
Results: A total of 246 patients were included where 135 were females and 111 were males. The most common skin disease seen in the age group of 19-29 (39.4%). The major skin disease seen in the study were Tinea skin infections (21.1%), Urticaria (11.8%), Eczema (11.1%), Dermatitis (10.6%) followed by Acne (8.1%) and so on. Antihistamines (33.38%), Antifungals (30.03%), Corticosteroids (27.1%) were majorly prescribed drugs. The average number of drug prescriptions per encounter was 2.66. Drugs prescribed by their generic name were 11.2% and those prescribed from the National essential medicines list of Nepal were 22.4% and those prescribed from WHO list of essential medicines was 21.6%.
Conclusion: Overall analysis of the drug showed, the most common route of the prescribed drug was topical followed by oral. In this study, generic prescribing of the drug was low compared with a brand prescription. WHO core drug use indicators have been used in the present study as a measure of performance of drug usage. The prescription audit can be an eye-opener and therefore it should be done periodically to rationalize the prescription, reduce error and suggest cost-effective management.
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