Analgesic Use at the Polyclinic OPD of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

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Objective: This study was conducted to determine which analgesics were commonly prescribed at a busy polyclinic as well as to document the conditions for which they were prescribed, their availability at the polyclinic pharmacy and also to pick out any cautionary cases. Method: The study was a descriptive prospective cross-sectional study over a period of 4 weeks from mid December 2006 to mid January 2007. A purposeful sampling method was employed, i.e. twenty consecutive prescriptions containing analgesics for each day were included in the data collection. Data was extracted from the prescription forms and filled on the data collection form. Numbers and percentages of the data were calculated using the electronic data processing software SPSS (version 12). Setting: The general out-patient consulting rooms and pharmacy of the polyclinic of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi. Key Findings: A total number of three hundred and forty analgesic prescriptions were collected during the period of study. The most commonly prescribed analgesic was paracetamol (52.8%). NSAIDs followed at 40.1%. Diclofenac was the most common NSAID prescribed at 68.9% of all NSAIDs prescribed. The commonest documented indication for NSAIDs was malaria (34.5%) followed by hypertension at 25%. The rationale for the use of NSAIDs in hypertension was however not clear. Malaria was the most common indication for analgesic prescribing in all age groups at 67.5%. The majority (34.1%) of all the prescriptions were for age groups of 15-45 years but the age group 45-65 years followed at 23.3%. In addition 62.7% of all paediatric prescriptions under five years were for males. Malaria was the commonest indication in children under five at 83.1% and the mean duration of therapy was found to be approximately 5 days. Generic prescribing was generally good at 79.1% whiles 95.7% of all drugs were available at the pharmacy. Also 94.3% of all drugs prescribed were in line with the hospitals Drugs and Therapeutic Committee’s recommended list. Conclusions: A high percentage of NSAID prescriptions were going to hypertensive patients over 45 years. The mean duration of days for paracetamol use in paediatric patients may need to be examined. Generic prescribing, drug availability and adherence to Drug and Therapeutic Committee drug list were however very high and thus commendable.
A Thesis submitted to the Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences,College of Health Sciences,