Patterns of prescribing and utilization of asthma medications in a tertiary hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Purpose: To assess the prescribing patterns of asthma medications in a hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) with regard to the demographic pattern of the population.
Methods: One hundred fifty four patients, 83 male and 71 female, were randomly selected from the outpatient respiratory diseases clinic of a tertiary hospital in Dubai, UAE over a 3-month period. Patients were asked to complete a structured questionnaire and data were analyzed using STATA 12 software.
Results: Most of the patients were within the age range of 0 – 10 years. About 86 % of the patients were overweight. Half of the patients were non-smokers while 51 % of them had a family history of asthma. About 54 % of the patients received multiple drug therapy of which two-drug combinations were widely prescribed (31 %). The most utilized drug classes were short acting β-agonists (42 %), xanthine drugs (16 %), leukotriene modifiers (14 %) and oral and intravenous corticosteroids (13 %). Statistical significant differences among the age groups (F = 2.33, p = 0.0275) were found.
Conclusion: Primary prevention to reduce the level of exposure to common risk factors for asthma would be a vital step to control the disease. More resources should be channeled into educating physicians and patients on rational drug utilization to improve the quality of patients’ care.
Keywords: Asthma, utilization of medicines, β-agonists, Xanthines, Leukotriene modifiers, Rational drug utilization