ANALGESIC PRESCRIBING PATTERN IN AN OUTPATIENT DEPARTMENT OF A TERTIARY HOSPITAL IN NORTH EAST NIGERIA
Onah Otor Paul* and Ahmed Abdulmalik
Background: Pain is a frequently encountered clinical condition and one of the common reasons for seeking medical care. It has the potential to negatively affect physical activities and quality of life. Relief from pain is an overwhelming need of patients irrespective of cause. Analgesics produce relief from pain and the appropriate choice of drug is often a challenge for clinicians. Chronic use of analgesics is known to cause their own medical problems, so prescription should be on the basis of severity and needs of patients. Aim: The study aim to determine analgesic prescribing pattern and to identify evidence of irrational use. Methods: Prescription records containing analgesic were obtained from the pharmacy department of the hospital and relevant data extracted for analysis. Results/Discussion: Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and Diclofenac were the most prescribed analgesics accounting for over three quarters of analgesics. The combination of Paracetamol with Codeine is widely prescribed with innovator brands being the most preferred choice of prescribers. The result of this study is comparable with other similar studies and the major reason for prescribing these drugs is their comparative safety profile. The prescription of two or more analgesics observed in this study is irrational, so also is the use of NSAIDs without co-prescription of gastroprotective drugs. Conclusion: There is concern about the prescription of opiates the practice of combining analgesics has no clear therapeutic benefit for patients. The use of NSAIDs without gastroprotective agents is not in tandem with current best practice recommendation.
Keywords: Analgesics, irrational use, Opiates, NSAIDs, Pain.
[Full Text Article]