Author(s): Dr. Shivanna Poorna Prasad,
Anaemia is a global health concern. During adolescence, pregnancy and lactation, it is associated with increased maternal and perinatal mortality, preterm delivery, low birth weight, extreme fatigue and impaired immune system. It can be controlled by oral haematinics like ferrous ascorbate, ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulphate or ferric ammonium citrate which will rise the haemoglobin concentration. The objective of this study was to do a pharmacotherapeutic study of the prescription patterns, efficacy and safety of oral haematinics among the anaemic women population, in rural India. METHODS 250 anaemic patients were allocated into group A: 13-18 years= 125 and group B: 19-32 years= 125. The patients were prescribed oral haematinics, containing 60 mg of elemental iron, thrice daily, with or after meals. The pharmacotherapeutic study of ferrous ascorbate, ferrous sulphate, ferrous fumarate and ferric ammonium citrate, including their prescription patterns, prescription content analysis, efficacy assessment by measurement of haemoglobin concentration improvement and safety assessment, on 1st, 2nd, 3rd months and follow-up visits, were conducted from the medical records of patients, along with thorough analysis. This was a multi-centre, retrospective, observational and analytical study of the hospital medical records of anaemic patients. The study data was statistically analysed with mean ± SD values, p values and various percentages. RESULTS In groups A and B, ferrous ascorbate was the most commonly prescribed oral haematinic, followed by ferrous sulphate, ferrous fumarate and ferric ammonium citrate, which controlled mild to moderate iron deficiency anaemia, with a gradual significant rise in haemoglobin concentration, in the successive 3 months. Adverse effects were observed to be statistically non-significant in either group. The completeness of prescription contents was observed in 100% of prescriptions. CONCLUSIONS This pharmacotherapeutic study of different prescription patterns, efficacy and safety, established that oral haematinics were substantially beneficial among the anaemic women population, in rural India.