A STUDY OF DRUG UTILIZATION PATTERN OF THE GERIATRIC PATIENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF GERIATRIC MEDICINE IN A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL IN ASSAM, INDIA
Objective: To investigate the drug utilization pattern and the prevalence of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) using updated AGS Beers criteria 2012 among the elderly patients who attended the geriatric outpatient departments as well as admittedÂ indoor patients ina tertiary care Hospital at Guwahati, Assam, India.
Method: A hospital based prospective, observational and cross sectional study, involving patients aged 65 years and above was planned and conducted over a period of 6 months from January 2016 to June 2016. Patients were visited daily, interviewed and case records were collected. Data were analyzed using Microsoft Office Excel Sheets.
Results:Â A total of 150 patients aged 65 years and above were analyzed. 97 patients (65%) were males and 53 (35%) were females. Majority of the patients (61 numbers, 41%) belonged to the age group of 65-70 years, and least were in the age group of 86-90 years (13 numbers, 9%). Prescription of five or more medications (polypharmacy) was observed in 117 (78%) patients. Majority of the patients presented with diseases of cardiovascular system (25.7%). Using WHO drug use indicators, the average number of drugs per prescription was found to be 5.6. The percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name was 86%. The percentage of encounters in which antibiotics were prescribed wasÂ 61%. Injection was prescribed was 65% cases and the percentage of drugs prescribed from the NLEM (National List of Essential Medicines of India) was 96%. Â 43 patients received PIMs from Beers list; majority were belonging to category 1. Spironolactone was most commonly prescribed PIM.
Conclusion:Â Irrational prescribing practices and polypharmacy were detected in our study.
Prescribers should be educated about rational use of drugs and Beers criteria for elderly.Â
Keywords: Beers criteria, WHO prescribing indicators, Potentially inappropriate medications, Elderly patients, Polypharmacy
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