Introduction: Prescription analysis of cough symptomatics seems to be an effective way to assess early detection of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Objectives: To assess the socio demographic profile, chief presenting complaints of these patients apart from cough and to observe the type of medication and investigations prescribed by Medicine Outpatient department(OPD).
Material and Methods: This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study conducted between May 2013 and March 2014. It was conducted in Medicine OPD of Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi. A total of 656 prescriptions were selected by simple random sampling and were observed regarding socio-demographic profile of cough symptomatics, type of medications and investigations prescribed including referral to DOTS centre.
Results: Majority of the cough symptomatics were males (491, 74.85%) and most (456,69.51%) of the patients belonged to productive age group (26-65yrs.). Chief presenting complaints apart from cough were fever in (80,12.20%) cases, blood in cough (61,9.30%) cases, recent loss of weight was noticed by (68, 10.37%) patients and chest pain was present in (55,8.38%) patients. Other symptoms like night sweats, weakness, loss of appetite, melena etc. was present in only few (62,9.45%) of the study subjects. Out of 612 prescriptions, less than half (260,42.48%) of the patients were referred to DOTS centre for sputum smear examination. Chest X-ray was prescribed in (92,22.87%) prescriptions. It was found that antibiotics, antipyretics and antiallergics were present in (220,33.54%), (121,18.45%) and (78,11.89%) prescriptions respectively.
Conclusion: Prescription audit seems to be an effective way to avoid indiscriminate use of medications and investigations in case of cough symptomatics.
Keywords: Cough symptomatics, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Antibiotics.