The present study was performed to find out the prescribing patterns of the doctors for geriatric patients, to characterize the behavior of the outdoor geriatric patients of a selected private hospital and to investigate whether polypharmacy is a suitable indicator for occurrence of unnecessary or irrational drug therapy. A prospective study was carried out with the help of a structured questionnaire and the prescriptions of the patients. Patients aged 65 year and above were included in the study. A total of 35 patients were interviewed and their prescriptions were collected after taking their consent. Among the patients, hypertension was found to be most prevalent (46%) followed by diabetes mellitus (16%). Chief complaints were chest pain (41%), joint pain (37%), muscle pain (34%) and respiratory distress (27%). About 34% of the patients did not comply with the prescription and 75% did not take regular physical exercise. Stress (49%) and insomnia (41%) were common among the patients. Polypharmacy was observed in 69% of the patients and an average of 5.5 drugs was given to them. Losartan potassium was the mostly prescribed (31%) drugs followed by esomeprazole (20%) and multivitamins (17%). Unnecessary drug use problem can be prevented by the rational prescribing of drugs by the practitioners. Any medications without therapeutic benefit, goal or indication should be avoided during prescribing for geriatric patients. This study reveals the prescription trends, and indicates possible areas of improvement in prescribing practice.
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