High prescription of antimicrobials in a rural district hospital in India

  • Gerardo Alvarez-Uria
  • Seeba Zachariah
  • Dixon Thomas
Keywords: Anti-Bacterial Agents, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Drug Utilization, Inappropriate Prescribing, Rural Health, India


Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends surveillance of antibiotic use as part of the strategy to fight against antimicrobial resistance. However, there is little information about the antibiotic consumption in developing countries, especially in rural areas.

Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the antimicrobial consumption in a rural hospital in India

Methods: The study was performed in a district hospital situated in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh. In accordance with WHO recommendations, we used the defined daily dose (DDD) methodology to measure the antibiotic use during one year (from 1st August 2011 to 1st August 2012). The antibiotic use was measured using DDDs/100 admissions and DDDs/100 patient-days for inpatients, and DDDs/100 visits for outpatients.

Results: During the study period, there were 15,735 admissions and 250,611 outpatient visits. Antibiotics were prescribed for 86% of inpatients and 12.5% of outpatients. Outpatient prescriptions accounted for 2/3 of the overall antibiotic consumption. For inpatients, the total antibiotic use was 222 DDDs/ 100 patient-days, 693 DDDs/ 100 admissions and the mean number of antibiotics prescribed was 1.8. For outpatients, the total antibiotic use was 86 DDDs/ 100 outpatient visits and the mean number of antibiotics prescribed was 1.2. The most common antibiotics prescribed were aminopenicillins and 3rd generation cephalosporins for inpatients, and tetracyclines and quinolones for outpatients. In a sample of patients with diarrhoea or upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), the proportion of patients who received antibiotics was 84% (95% confidence interval [CI], 67-93) and 52% (95% CI, 43-62), respectively.

Conclusion: In this rural setting, the use of antimicrobials was extremely high, even in conditions with a predominantly viral aetiology such as diarrhoea or URTI.


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How to Cite
Alvarez-Uria G, Zachariah S, Thomas D. High prescription of antimicrobials in a rural district hospital in India. Pharm Pract (Granada) [Internet]. 2014Jun.25 [cited 2019Nov.14];12(2):384. Available from: https://pharmacypractice.org/journal/index.php/pp/article/view/384
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