Shaik Mabu Shareef, Shaik Masroor Ahamed
BACKGROUND: Evidence-based pharmacological treatment is inadequate among neonates due to difficulties in performing clinical trials. Also, medication errors in neonates are frequent because of their unique pharmacokinetics. The aim of this study was to analyse the pattern of disease and prescription pattern using applicable WHO indicators in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of a tertiarycare hospital.
METHODS: Prescriptions of neonates admitted to NICU over a period of 4 months were studied prospectively. Rational drug use, drug interactions, off label use and adverse effects were taken into consideration. Drug prescription parameters were analysed in relation to birth weight, gestational age at birth and co-morbid conditions.
RESULTS: Prescriptions of 622 neonates were analysed. The total number of drugs prescribed was 2352. The average number of drugs per prescription was 4.9. Respiratory distress and neonatal jaundice were the most common causes for admission. 79.7% of the drugs were prescribed with generic name. 52% of the total drugs prescribed were antimicrobials.
CONCLUSIONS: Prescription of maximum drugs was by their generic name and was dispensed free of cost to the patients from the hospital pharmacy. Almost all the drugs prescribed were present in the NLEM, India 2017 and off-label antibiotics use were common. The study helped in assessing drug needs of neonates, rational usage and also guided the administration in drug procurement.