Background: Rational use of corticosteroids is very essential for improving patient safety on long term use. Aim: To study the prescribing pattern of steroids in teaching hospital. Method: A prospective observational study was conducted in the department of dermatology and general medicine in a tertiary care teaching hospital for the period of 6 months. All patients receiving any category of Steroid therapy were included and the prescribing and tapering pattern of steroids were reviewed. Result: Prescribing pattern was observed and analysed in 226 participants during the study period. Steroids were prescribed for various Respiratory illnesses (59.32 %) and Skin related conditions (33.18%). The steroid utilization was found to be more in elderly patients, particularly males. Inhaler administration was common in 44.5% of cases. Budesonide was the most commonly prescribed (43.45%) followed by Prednisolone (15.25%) and Hydrocortisone (14.91%). Budesonide + Hydrocortisone were the most common therapy given in combination (35.19%). In topical preparation, Ultra potent Steroid Clobetasol (45.93%) was commonly prescribed and in Systemic Preparation, Intermediate acting steroid Prednisolone (37.82%) was used. Most drugs were prescribed rationally although some factors like improper history, drug administration time and tapering were deviating away from rationality. Conclusion: Not much variation was found in the pattern of prescription amongst the healthcare professionals. Although most of the drugs were prescribed rationally, involvement of a Clinical pharmacist in patient care can help in more rational prescribing along with prevention and early detection of ADRs which can directly promote drug safety and better patient outcomes.
Key words: Prescribing pattern, Rationality, Tapering, Steroids, General Medicine, Dermatology.