A study on prescribing patterns in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Keywords:Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drugs, Prescribing Trends, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the prescribing patterns and frequency of use of various drug classes in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in a teaching hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan. Study Design: Descriptive Cross Sectional study. Setting: Medical Outpatient Department of HBS General Hospital, Islamabad. Period: August 2018 to March 2019. Material & Methods: Patients of rheumatoid arthritis were included in the study using non-probability consecutive sampling technique. Socio-demographic details and medication history was collected on pre-designed proforma. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 22. Results: A total of 112 patients were included in the study.108 patients (96.4%) were using disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. The most prescribed medication in the patients was methotrexate (n=82, 73%). One disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs with a steroid was the preferred combination (n=32, 28%). Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (21%) and steroids (20%) were the other major drug classes among the total medications prescribed. Only one patient included in the study was using biologics. Conclusion: Conventional disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs in combination with steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are the preferred therapy in patients of Rheumatoid arthritis in local settings. Methotrexate is the most commonly used disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. The use of biological agents remains low as compared to the developed world owing to their high cost.