Aims: The present study was carried out to describe the patterns of prescription and drug use in Ophthalmology in out-patients at Dr Rajendra Prasad (R.P.) Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (A.I.I.M.S.), New Delhi.
Methods: Prescriptions of 1017 out-patients were audited through a specially designed form and analysed for the following: average number of drugs per prescription, duration of treatment (recorded or not), dosage forms prescribed, frequency of administration (recorded or not), number of encounters with antibiotics and percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name.
Results: Prescription analysis showed that the average number of drugs per prescription was 3.03. Duration of treatment was recorded for only 26.4% of the drugs prescribed. The maximum number of drugs prescribed were in the form of eye drops (76%), followed by tablets (10.9%), ointments (6.4%), syrups (1%), capsules (0.7%), lotions (0.3%) and injections (0.1%). No dosage form was recorded for 4.6% of the drugs prescribed. The frequency of administration was recorded for only 77.9% of the drugs prescribed. The number of antibiotics prescribed was 1059 which constitutes 34.2% of the total number of drugs prescribed. The percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name was only 35%.
Conclusions: The results obtained in this study indicated an awareness of polypharmacy but a high incidence of common prescription writing errors such as not recording the duration of therapy, frequency of administration and dosage form. Moreover prescribing by generic name was also low.