Drug Utilization Evaluation of Antidepressant Prescribing Practice in a Psychiatric Outpatient Hospital: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study

Vaishnavi Uppula

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Care College of Pharmacy, Hanamkonda, TS, India.

Tejasri Nitturi

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Care College of Pharmacy, Hanamkonda, TS, India.

Satyanarayana SV Padi *

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Care College of Pharmacy, Hanamkonda, TS, India.

Jagadeesh Babu Bandari

Jaya Krishna Psychiatric Care and Counselling Centre, Hanamkonda, TS, India.

Manjula Puluru

Department of Pharmacy Practice, Care College of Pharmacy, Hanamkonda, TS, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: One of the main causes of morbidity is psychiatric disorders, which are becoming a burden to public health. The therapeutic choices are influenced by several factors, including treatment paradigms, safety, and costs that determine outcomes.

Aim: We carried out the drug utilization evaluation (DUE) of antidepressants in patients visiting the psychiatry outpatient department. 

Study Design: An observational, prospective, and cross-sectional study.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Psychiatry, Jaya Krishna Hospital, Hanamkonda, TS, between September 2021 to April 2022.

Methodology: We included patients who visited the psychiatric outpatient hospital, were clinically diagnosed, and received any antidepressants for the long term. The relevant data collected from the information resources was systematically analyzed for DUE.

Results: Among 417 patients, the majority were in the age group of 31-40 (33.3%) years, and the most affected were female (57.3%), married (73.4%), and housewives (29.5%). Depression (37.6%) was the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Of these prescriptions, 5.3% were monotherapy, the remaining was polytherapy (94.7%), and the majority of them had three drugs (36.2%). The average number of drugs per encounter was 3.4, drugs prescribed by generic names were 41.4%, injectable drugs prescribed were 2.6%, and drugs listed in the National List of Essential Medicines were 61.3%. Of all, 88.7% of prescriptions had at least one antidepressant, predominantly SSRIs, and fluoxetine (23.0%) was the most commonly prescribed. Benzodiazepines (59.7%) were the most frequently prescribed concomitant drug class and clonazepam (50.6%) was the most widely prescribed. Suicidal thoughts (5.8%) were the most commonly observed ADR.

Conclusion: The study observed a pattern of polytherapy, mainly antidepressants from the SSRIs, notably fluoxetine mostly prescribed, and suicidal thoughts were the frequent ADR. Drug use surveillance studies, rationalizing therapeutic choices, and proper patient counseling would improve therapeutic outcomes by minimizing side effects and ADRs.

Keywords: Antidepressants, adverse drug reaction, depression; drug utilization, fluoxetine, psychiatry

How to Cite

Uppula, V., Nitturi, T., Padi, S. S., Bandari, J. B. and Puluru, M. (2024) “Drug Utilization Evaluation of Antidepressant Prescribing Practice in a Psychiatric Outpatient Hospital: A Prospective Cross-Sectional Study”, Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, 36(7), pp. 1–12. doi: 10.9734/jpri/2024/v36i77533.


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