Use and misuse of systemic glucocorticoid therapy in hospitalized medical patients

Short communication


Rafik. R. Elmehdawi

Medical department of 7th of October Teaching hospital.
Benghazi- Libya

JMJ Vol. 6, No. 2 (2006): 145-147


Objectives: this study was conducted to evaluate the practice of using systemic corticosteroids in treating medical conditions in our hospital and to compare it with the current recommendations. Design: a retrospective cross sectional analysis. Setting: the 7th of October hospital, a general hospital affiliated to the Garyounis University.
Participants: the files of 565 consecutive patients admitted to the medical department during the period from the 1st of August 2004 to the 30th of September 2004. Main outcome measures: The files were reviewed regarding the diagnosis, the use of systemic glucocorticoids, the type of the used corticosteroid, the prescribed route, and the use of prophylaxis against steroid-induced gastritis. Results: out of the 565 studied patients, 9.2% have received systemic glucocorticoid therapy during their hospital stay. The commonest diagnosis for which systemic glucocorticoids were prescribed was bronchial asthma (34.6%), followed by stroke, and COPD. Unnecessary use of glucocorticoids was observed in (28%) of the treated patients. Conclusion: although the rate of using systemic glucocorticoids wasn’t high in general but the rate of unnecessary use was high reflecting the lack of awareness about the ineffectiveness of such therapy in some medical conditions, making their use in such conditions not only money wasting, but more importantly might be harmful to the patient.

Keywords: Glucocorticoids, Drug prescription, Drug misuse