Analgesic Prescribing In Developing Countries

Nousheen Aslam, Muhammad Harris Shoaib


Prescription writing is the key part in healthcare provision. This study aims to find out the current prescribing practice for the analgesics in tertiary health care centers situated in Karachi.
Cross sectional, random sampling method was used to collect 1000 medicine chart of patients from different hospitals in the metropolitan city of Karachi from July to December 2008.These charts were reviewed to get Information about patients’ demography, reason for hospitalization, medications, number of analgesics. Different variables were determined in this study including the gender and age group of majority patients taking analgesics with their prescribing frequency, combination analgesics and different prescription errors. Results are expressed in frequency and percentage.
1000 medicine charts were reviewed. Five thousands eight hundreds and ninety one drugs were prescribed out of which 1,084 were analgesics (18.4%), 821(75.7%) were non opioids and were 263 (24.26%) opioids. Analgesics were more prescribed to females (N=564; 56.4%) than males (N=436; 43.6%). The most prevalent age groups was between 11 to 30 years (N=263; 26.3%) and 31 to 70 years (N=200; 20%). Paracetamol was the most frequently prescribed analgesic (N=340; 34%) followed by opioids (N=263; 26.3%), acetic acid NSAIDs? derivatives (198; 19.8%), aspirin (175; 17.5%), propionic acid NSAIDs derivatives (N=56; 5.6%) and fenamic acid NSAIDs derivatives (N=52; 5.2%). Paracetamol and aspirin were commonly prescribed in combination with other analgesics. The most common prescription errors were omission of weight of patient (N=174; 17.4%) and strength of tablet (N=136; 13.6%), wrong dosage form (N=116; 11.6%) and omission of route of administration (N=104; 10.4%).


Analgesics, Rational Prescribing, Prescription Error, Developing Countries, Karachi, Pakistan

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