Indian Journal of Dermatology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 342-345

Prescribing practices of topical corticosteroids in the outpatient dermatology department of a rural tertiary care teaching hospital


Department of Pharmacology, S.R.T.R. Medical College, Ambajogai, Beed, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Vinod S Deshmukh
Department of Pharmacology, S.R.T.R. Medical College, Ambajogai, Beed, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5154.117293

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Background: Inappropriate or excessive use of topical corticosteroids can lead to cutaneous and systemic adverse effects which occur more commonly with the use of very potent steroids. Monitoring and analysis of the prescription practices of topical steroids can help to achieve rational prescription of these drugs. Aim: The present study was carried out to study and analyze the pattern of prescribing topical corticosteroids among outpatients attending the dermatology clinic in a rural tertiary care and teaching hospital, Ambajogai, Maharashtra. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted for a duration of two months from August 2011 to September 2011, and 500 prescriptions were randomly collected from the dermatology pharmacy and analyzed. Results: About 66% of the prescriptions contained four to five drugs per prescription. Topical steroids were given in 28.4% of all the prescriptions. In almost all the prescriptions, strength, quantity of the steroid to be used, frequency, site, and duration of application was not mentioned. The chief complaints and diagnoses were not mentioned in about 85% of the prescriptions for topical corticosteroids. About 94.36% of the prescriptions contained very potent steroids. Conclusion: Inadequate prescribing information is a clear characteristic of the dermatological prescriptions containing topical corticosteroids. Doctors should be educated about the importance of giving patients sufficient information regarding the use of steroids. There is a need to revise hospital formulary where low-potency steroids can also be included along with potent ones so that the latter can be avoided in conditions where they are unnecessary.


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