Evaluation of Drug Utilization Pattern for Patients of Bronchial Asthma in a Government Hospital of Saudi Arabia
Background: Bronchial asthma is a social and economic healthcare burden. Drug utilization studies are important tools to assess current prescription practices against standard guidelines and help in rationalizing the management. Materials and Methods: This retrospective cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate the pattern of drug utilization in bronchial asthma patients in a government hospital of Saudi Arabia. Retrospective prescribing information of patients of all ages and both sexes diagnosed with bronchial asthma being treated with at least one of the anti-asthmatic medications was utilized. Demographic details, brand/ generic name, indication, route, dosage, frequency, and date of starting the drug were recorded. Prescriptions were examined for order, number, and therapeutic class of drugs in addition to poly-pharmacy and appropriateness. Patients having other respiratory disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), bronchitis, emphysema, or any comorbidity such as diabetes, hypertension, and peptic ulcer were excluded. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 380 prescriptions were studied. Patients were aged from 4 months to 79 years, with 55.3% males and 44.7% females. Pediatric prescriptions were 47.4%. Bronchodilators followed by steroids were the most common drug groups. Salbutamol and budesonide were the most common from each group, respectively. 89.5% of the patients were having at least two drugs. Number of drugs per prescription averaged 3.18 ± 1.22, however, no correlation was found between different age groups and number of drugs. 61.3% drugs were administered by inhalational route and 34.8% by oral route. Approximately 77.2% prescriptions were found to be appropriate. Conclusion: Prescription pattern was mainly in accordance with standard guidelines with some knowledge and technical gaps in prescription writing methodology.
Keywords: Airway, pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacy, public health, survey