Prescribing Pattern of Psychotropic Medications in Psychiatry Outpatients at a Tertiary Care Teaching Hospital in India: A Prospective Cross-sectional Study

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, School of Tropical Medicine, Kolkata, India

2 Department of Psychiatry, Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, India

3 Department of Biochemistry, Calcutta National Medical College, Kolkata, India


Background and Objectives: The expanding field of psychopharmacology is constantly seeking new and improved drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. Although psychotropic drugs have had a remarkable impact in psychiatry, their utilization, effectiveness, and side effects in the in clinical practice need continuous study. The present study was thus designed to analyze the pattern of psychotropic drugs prescription in a tertiary care teaching hospital in Eastern India.   Methods: A 6-month prospective cross-sectional observational clinical study was carried. The study enrolled a total of 294 cases to investigate the prescribing pattern of psychotropic medications, using a predesigned format.   Findings: Major depression was found to be the most common psychiatric disorder encountered (34.69%). The number of psychotropic drugs prescribed per patient averaged 3.39. Anti-anxiety drugs were the most frequently prescribed psychotropic drugs in various psychiatric disorders. Psychotropic fixed dose combinations were present in 18.36% of the prescriptions. A majority (83.09%) of medicines was prescribed by generic names. Psychotropic drugs accounted for 69.2% of drugs prescribed from the hospital drug schedule, of which 60.2% actually dispensed from the hospital drug store free of cost. Utilization of drugs from the national list of essential medicines of India (NLEM 2011) was 45.63%.   Conclusions: This study provides a baseline data for carrying out further studies on prescribing pattern in a tertiary care unit which would help for improve psychotropic drugs utilization in mental health facilities.