Mediterranean Journal Of Pharmacy And Pharmaceutical Sciences

Common errors in writing of prescriptions in benghazi

  • Authors Details :  
  • Arwa Benkhaial,  
  • Yasmine Abdulkader,  
  • Mustafa A. Alssageer,  
  • Hajer Ahmed

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Good prescription writing is essential for dispensing the right drug formulation and dose. When prescriptions are not legible, inaccurate and do not include complete information, there is a possibility of prescribing errors occurring, which leads to adverse events. Poor handwriting is another important issue that makes the information unclear; especially look-alike drug names that may be confused by the pharmacist. World Health Organization has issued a practical manual for Good Prescribing that includes the essential information that should be included in a prescription. In this study, we attempt to investigate the problem of bad prescribing habits in out-patient prescriptions in Benghazi, Libya. Two hundred seventy-five out-patient prescriptions were collected from two private pharmacies on four consecutive days. These prescriptions were scanned for any errors or missing information depending on the standard criteria established by World Health Organization in its practical manual "Guide to Good prescribing". The collected data were processed and statistically analyzed by using SSPSS to calculate the percentage of missing information. Eleven percent (11.0%) of the prescriptions had no address or name of the prescriber on them while 58.0% had no date written on them and in 21.0% the prescriber did not sign the prescription. The age of the patient was only written on 38.0% of the prescriptions. The name of the medication was not clearly written in 18.0% of the prescriptions, while the dosage form of the medication was not written at all in 18.0% and not clearly written in 20.0% of the prescriptions. The total amount of the prescribed drug was not written in 30.0% of the prescriptions. It is to conclude that prescribers included in this study wrote prescriptions with a lot of missing and unclear information as per WHO guidelines for a good prescribing. This shows the weak attitude of Libyan prescribers toward the different aspects of “Good Prescribing”.

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