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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 118-126

Evaluation of antihypertensive prescribing patterns in the western region of Saudi Arabia and its compliance with national guidelines

Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Taif Western Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ibrahim Abdullah Maghrabi
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, Taif University, Taif Western Region
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-0521.117917

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Background: Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are responsible for one-third of deaths worldwide. Hypertension is an extremely prevalent risk factor for CVD. Different guidelines were set to control the treatment practices of hypertension including the British guidelines, the US guidelines, and the Saudi guidelines. The adherence of physicians to guidelines is a key issue in the success of therapy and avoidance of serious health complications. However, there are no enough data about the trends of hypertension treatment in Saudi Arabia and its compliance to guidelines. Aim: The present study aims to explore the profile of antihypertensive agents prescribed, investigate the extent of adherence to the national guidelines as well as the detection of some common prescription errors in treating hypertension in the western region of Saudi Arabia. Methods: Data were collected through a semi-structured interview with prescribers using prescription profile questionnaire. Results: The results indicated great degree of deviations from the guidelines. Some deviations may be major and might seriously affect the patients' health, such as prescribing direct vasodilators for angina patients. Other deviations might be minor, where physicians frequently prescribed nonrecommended drugs.The study revealed that reasons behind such deviation included lack of information and awareness of Saudi guidelines, the impact of marketing and promotion activities of different companies, tendencies to prescribe cheaper drugs, and limited number of drugs available in hospitals. Conclusion: Results obtained showed different degrees of deviation due to complex underlying causes that necessitate arranging awareness campaigns, reviewing the hospital drug lists as well as setting regulations to guarantee adherence to guidelines.

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