Prescription writing in Gondar outpatient teaching hospital, Ethiopia

Z. Desta, M. Abdulwhab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


A total of 19119 prescriptions consecutively written between January - July 1992 were collected from Gondar outpatient hospital selling pharmacy and reviewed to determine physician's adherence to the basic principles of prescription order writing. In 36.6%, 16.8% and 12.4% of the prescriptions, respectively, age, sex and chart numbers of patients were not recorded. Twelve percent, 7%, 6.4%, 5.8% and 1.6% of the prescriptions did not indicate routes of drug administration, directions for drug use, frequency of drug administration, drug dose and duration of treatment, respectively. No prescription order had special advice or warnings to the patient and in 10.8% of the cases date was omitted. Out of the dispensed drugs, 82.9% were written in generic names and over 70% were included in the Essential Drug List of Ethiopia. The five most commonly dispensed individual drugs were ampicillin (10.4%), paracetamol (9.5%), TB 450 + isoniazid (7.4%), penicillin G (6.8%) and aspirin (5.8%). As therapeutic classes, antinfectives were most common (47.8%) of which antihacterials constituted 38.1%, followed by analgesic-antipyretics (17.5%). Most drugs were prescribed by young medical interns and dispensed by less qualified personnel. Our preliminary survey indicates that essential components of a prescription order were omitted to a great extent and suggested to modify the existing undergraduate pharmacotherapeutic teaching in order to promote rational use and prescribing before bad habits get a chance to develop. The type of drugs dispensed at the selling pharmacy could not be beneficial to the patient without competent professional patient counselling, delivery of correct information as well as appropriate prescription monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalEast African medical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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