Original Research Article | OPEN ACCESS
Prescribing trend of vitamins and other dietary supplements in tertiary health facility in Benin City

Ikponmwosa M Osarenmwinda , Patrick O Erah

Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy practice, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria;

For correspondence:-  Ikponmwosa Osarenmwinda   Email: ikponmwosa.osarenmwinda@uniben.edu   Tel:+2348033925071

Published: 31 December 2015

Citation: Osarenmwinda IM, Erah PO. Prescribing trend of vitamins and other dietary supplements in tertiary health facility in Benin City. J Sci Pract Pharm 2015; 2(1):2-7 doi: https://doi.org/10.47227/jsppharm/v2i1.2

© 2015 The authors.
This is an Open Access article that uses a funding model which does not charge readers or their institutions for access and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) and the Budapest Open Access Initiative (http://www.budapestopenaccessinitiative.org/read), which permit unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited..


Purpose: Vitamins and other dietary supplements (VDS) are widely used in Nigeria. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prescribing trends of VDS in tertiary health facility in Benin City, and the relative contribution of the cost of VDS to the prescribed medicines.
Method:In a retrospective study, data on medicines prescribed were collected from 2428 patient case files in Paediatric and General Outpatient Departments (GOPD) in Central Hospital, Benin City. WHO prescribing indicators were then applied to evaluate all the prescription records, including the proportion of prescribed medicines that were vitamins, mineral supplements or other dietary supplements (DS). The contributions of VDS to the amount paid by the patient for prescribed medicines were then evaluated.
Results:Average number of medicines per encounter in the health facility was 3.9±1.17 (4.0±1.27 in the GOPD and 3.8±1.07 in the paediatric unit). Generic medicines prescribing was generally low in both Departments. The proportions of prescription with VDS were 63.8% for adult and 85.9% for children. These contribute 28.3% and 23%, respectively, to the costs of prescribed medicines. Multivitamins were mostly prescribed for children (74.3%) and adult (25%). Proportion of prescriptions containing single vitamins and mineral products were highest for vitamin C for both adult (12.2%) and children (32.1%). Herbal supplements were only prescribed (10.6%) for adult patients. Malaria fever was the most clinical conditions where VDS were prescribed.
Conclusion:  Majority of patients receiving treatment in the facility are expected to receive prescriptions for VDS. This routine addition of VDS to prescription medicines often significantly increases the cost of prescribed medicines to patients.

Keywords: Drug prescribing, Vitamins, dietary supplements, herbal supplement.

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