Objectives: To find out prescription patterns of general practitioners in Peshawar.
Methods: Cross-sectional survey of drug prescriptions was done at six major hospitals and pharmacies of Peshawar between April and May 2011. A total of 1097 prescriptions that included 3640 drugs, were analyzed to assess completeness, average number of drugs, prescription frequency of various drug classes, and number of brands prescribed.
Results: No prescription contained all essential components of a prescription. Legibility was poor in 58.5% prescriptions. Physician’s name and registration number were not mentioned in 89% and 98.2% prescriptions respectively. Over 78% prescriptions did not have diagnosis or indication mentioned. Dosage, duration of use, signature of physician and directions for taking drugs were not written in 63.8%, 55.4%, 18.5% and 10.9% of prescriptions respectively. On average each prescription included 3.32 drugs. Most frequently prescribed drug classes included analgesics (61.7%), anti-infective agents (57.2%), multi-vitamins (37.8%) and gastrointestinal drugs (34.4%). We found 206, 130, 105 and 101 different brands of anti-infective agents, gastrointestinal drugs, analgesics and multivitamins being prescribed.
Conclusion: We observed a high number of average drugs per prescription mostly using brand names, and over-prescription of analgesics, antimicrobials, multivitamins and anti-ulcer drugs. Quality of written prescriptions was poor in terms of completeness.
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