PRESCRIBING TRENDS IN ASTHMA IN PEDIATRICS: A LONGITUDINAL, OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
Objectives: In recent years, the prevalence of asthma has globally increased. Despite intensive treatment, many children with asthma are not achieving good symptom control. The present study aims to analyze the prescribing trends in pediatric asthma according to the World Health Organization (WHO) prescribing indicators.
Methods: This was an observational, longitudinal study conducted for the duration of 6 months with a sample size of 62. Children with age 1–14 years with asthma, who fulfilled the inclusion criteria, were enrolled after obtaining the written informed consent. Data were collected from outpatient department prescription slips for 2 times, one at 1st enrollment and the next after 1 month and changes in the prescription were noted. Peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) was measured on both visits and the change in PEFR was noted.
Results: Male predominance was seen (67.74%) with age of 5–9 years (40.32%). Average number of drugs per prescription was 1.96. The most commonly prescribed anti-asthmatic drug was inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) (78.22%). Only 1.5% drugs were prescribed by generic names and 22.22% drugs from the essential drug list. Inhalational route (38.71%) was preferred over the oral route (20.97%). After 1 month of treatment, change in PEFR was found to be statistically significant.
Conclusion: The study concluded that average number of drugs per prescription and use of antibiotics was conforming to the WHO prescribing standards but prescribing from essential medicines list and by generic name need to be encouraged.
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