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Arch Hellen Med, 18(1), January-Febuary 2001, 50-57


Drug prescribing in Primary Health Care
Part II: Drugs for cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and central nervous system diseases

1Health Center of Anogia,
2Clinic of Social and Family Medicine, Department of Social Medicine, University of Crete, Crete, Greece

OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to examine the frequency of prescription of specific drugs for cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and central nervous system (CNS) diseases, diagnosed in patients who visited the Anogia Health Center (AHC) in 1998 (retroactive study).

METHOD A sample of 12,500 prescriptions was randomly extracted from the 25,530 written in 1998 at the AHC. Prescriptions were inserted and analyzed in an electronic data base. Efforts for further analysis of the constants related with the use of drugs in the categories listed above was made.

RESULTS The three categories of drugs examined in this study were equivalent to 47% of the prescriptions written at the ACH during the year 1998. The percentage of each category was as follows: Category 2 (drugs suitable for cardiovascular diseases): 19%, category 10 (drugs suitable for musculoskeletal diseases): 17.4%, category 4 (drugs suitable for CNS diseases): 10.5%. Antihypertensive drugs, nitrates, calcium inhibitors and diuretics corresponded to 71.2% of the drugs prescribed for cardiovascular diseases. Antilipidemics represented only 3.5% of drugs prescribed in this category. A frequent use of NSAID painkillers was observed in the musculoskeletal drug category. The use of sedatives (sleeping pills) and anxiolytics covered 28.8% of drug prescription in the category of drugs appropriate for diseases of the CNS. The total percentage of drugs for diseases of CNS increases to 60.3%. When antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are added benĪ¶odiazepines and serotonine inhibitors were the commonly used drugs in these categories respectively. The prescription of opiates was very limited.

CONCLUSIONS Certain mistakes were observed in the prescriptions in the AHC. The adherence to guidelines and better education of the general practitioners should improve this picture.

Key words: CNS, Drugs, Formula, Medication, Prescription, Primary Health Care.

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