DRUG UTILIZATION STUDY IN A RADIOTHERAPY UNIT OF A TERTIARY CARE TEACHING HOSPITAL IN RURAL WEST BENGAL, INDIA
Keywords:Drug utilization study, Anticancer chemotherapy, Generic prescriptions, Prescription
Objective: Drug utilization studies lay special emphasis on the medical social and economic consequences of use of medications in special settings. This study was undertaken to identify the pattern of drugs prescribed frequently among patients attending the radiotherapy department.
Methods: This is a prospective study undertaken between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2018. Prescriptions and patient records were reviewed and analyzed using the World Health Organization (WHO) indicators for drug utilization studies.
Results: We encountered a total of 618 patients during the study period. Among them, 340 (55.01%) were female. The most common age groups presenting were between 21 and 60 years. Carcinoma breast was the most common type encountered (total cases 181, 29.28%), followed by carcinoma lung (total cases 92, 14.88%), carcinoma cervix, hematological malignancies, carcinoma prostate, and carcinoma rectum. Total number of drugs prescribed was 3008 in total 618 prescriptions making it 4.86 drugs per prescription on average. Among them on average per prescription, 2.82 drugs were cytotoxic drugs (1745 total), whereas 2.04 drugs were supportive or adjunct drugs (1263 total). Among the drugs prescribed, 96.24% were in generic names, 6.95% prescriptions contained antibiotics, and 96.44% (596) prescriptions contained injections. About 85.23% of drugs were prescribed from essential drug list. Average consulting was 8.2 min and dispensing time for adjunct drugs was 4 min on average. On average, 52.42% of patients (324) had complete correct knowledge of the dosage and schedule prescribed. Adverse drug reactions were common, out of 618 patients, 542 (87.7%) experienced ADRs most common being gastrointestinal and dermatological ADRs. The most common implicated drug was cisplatin. Six serious adverse events were encountered.
Conclusions: This study provides a clear picture of drug use in this special clinic in rural Bengal and paves the way for larger and long-term study.
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