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Prescription patterns of antihypertensive drugs in a tertiary care hospital in India

Ashok K. Sharma, Navdeep Dahiya, Jayant K. Kairi, Sandesh M. Bharati.

Background: The present study was conducted to analyze the prescribing patterns and utilization of antihypertensive drugs at a tertiary care center in India.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of prescriptions of patients of essential hypertension attending outpatient department of a tertiary care hospital during the period of December 2011 to March 2012 was done. Hypertensive patients with co-morbidities were excluded from study. The data were analyzed to find out demographic characteristics of patients, number of drugs prescribed per prescription, drugs, which are commonly prescribed, antihypertensive drugs used concurrently, percentage of drugs prescribed by generic name and over all drug utilization frequency.
Results: During the study period, 465 prescriptions for hypertension were analyzed. This study revealed that most of the patients were on combination of antihypertensive drugs (67.97%) while 31.18% patients received mono therapy. Among mono therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers (CCB) (31.03%) were prescribed most. Utilization of other major drug classes as mono therapy in decreasing order is angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (28.28%), diuretics (17.93%), beta-blockers (11.72%) and angiotensin receptor blockers (10.34%). Among those who were treated with drug combinations, 64.24% received 2-drug, 25.95% received 3-drug regimen and 8.54% received 4-drug regimen. In combination therapy, 2-drug combination consisting of a CCB and a diuretic was most commonly (24.14%) prescribed.
Conclusions: This study represents the current prescribing patterns for anti-hypertensive drugs and provides the baseline data for similar studies in future, as patterns in prescribing antihypertensive drugs keep changing.

Key words: Prescription patterns, Prescription monitoring, Antihypertensive drugs, Drug utilization

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