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John Edjophe Arute*, Deborah Obehi Onwusah, Wilson Muobosa Oteri and Nwabueze Precious Ebiogbe


BACKGROUND: Drug utilization studies are essential for evaluating the quality of care delivery of a health facility. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the pattern of prescription of psychotropic drugs in a tertiary care centre in Nigeria. METHODOLOGY: The study was a crosssectional one done at the Psychiatric Hospital, Uselu, Benin City, Nigeria from April to September, 2013. Systematic random sampling method was adopted and a well-designed prescribing indicator proforma was used in data collection. Prescription pattern data were analysed with respect to antipsychotic medications, and adjuvant psychotropic drugs. The following WHO prescribing indicators were used in evaluating the prescription pattern in the health facility, namely, average number of drug per encounter, percentage of encounters with an injection prescribed and percentage of drugs prescribed from the WHO Model List of Essential Medicine. RESULTS: A psychotropic drug prescription pattern of the prescribers in the health facility was studied. The most commonly prescribed antipsychotics were fluphenazine decanoate, trifluperazine and chlorpromazine. Depot preparation most commonly prescribed was fluphenazine decanoate and the most commonly prescribed long-acting depot preparation. Amitriptyline was the most frequently prescribed antidepressant. Antidepressants were averagely prescribed, more for female than male patients. CONCLUSION: Polypharmacy was a common practice in the health care facility. Typical antipsychotics were more commonly prescribed and the use of depot formulation was prevalent. The most utilized drug was an anticholinergic (trihexyphenidyl). The prescription pattern at the health care facility was not in conformity with WHO guidelines as regard polypharmacy and percentage of encounter with injections.

Keywords: Psychotropics, Prescription, Pattern.

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