African Journal of
Pharmacy and Pharmacology

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pharm. Pharmacol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0816
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPP
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 2201

Full Length Research Paper

Identification of errors in antibiotics’ prescriptions and prescription writing trends in areas of Hyderabad Sindh, Pakistan

Muhammad Ali Ghoto1*, Abdullah Dayo1, Muhammad Akram2, Imran Surehyani1 and Abbas Ali3
1Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sindh Jamshoro Pakistan. 2Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sindh Jamshoro Pakistan. 3Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Quaid-e-Awam University of Engineering, Science and Technology Nawabshah Pakistan.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 October 2012
  •  Published: 08 May 2013


Prescribing errors are common in hospitals and outpatient clinical settings. A number of studies have been performed regarding antibiotic prescription errors throughout the world but it is not yet enough in Hyderabad, Pakistan. This study was performed to identify the errors in antibiotics’ prescriptions and to propose the ways to minimize such errors. A total of 286 antibiotic containing prescriptions were randomly sampled from a government teaching hospital, three private hospitals and ten outpatient clinical settings. These prescriptions were categorized according to the antibiotic classes, and errors were identified according to various drug references and World Health Organization guidelines. The extent of errors was calculated; the highest proportion of the prescriptions (n = 257, 89.86%) failed to demonstrate the patient’s weight and the least number of prescriptions (n = 07, 2.44%) contained the dosage form errors. The mean error per prescription was observed as 6.35 with standard deviation (SD) = 3.138 and 95% confidence interval for population mean is (5.98, 6.71). The major reasons of prescription errors were heavy patients’ influx, insufficient knowledge regarding prescription writing guidelines to prescribers, and the lack of pharmacy services. Continuous educational training programs regarding prescription writing skills, introduction of computerized prescription order entry system and by recognizing and appreciating the role of pharmacist in evaluating the prescriptions, can substantially reduce these widespread errors.


Key words: Antibiotics, prescription, errors, Hyderabad.