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Assessment of Medication Prescribing Pattern in COVID-19 Admitted Patients by Using WHO Prescribing Indicators at Eka Kotebe General Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study.

INTRODUCTION: Drug therapy is a crucial component of health care and plays a vital role in preserving life. However, the irrational utilization of medications is a worldwide issue, particularly in developing nations.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the prescription patterns of medications based on the World Health Organization's prescribing indicator among patients who were admitted with COVID-19 to Eka Kotebe General Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2021.

METHODS: A retrospective cross-sectional analysis was conducted to evaluate the prescription patterns of medications in patients admitted with COVID-19 at Eka Kotebe General Hospital from June 2021 to September 15, 2021. The data were extracted using card review formats and prescription assessment questionnaires, and a systematic random sampling procedure was employed to collect the data. Finally, the data were coded and analyzed using SPSS version 26 to meet the study's objectives. Descriptive statistics were employed to determine the frequency and prevalence, and the results were presented using tables and figures.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The average number of medications prescribed per encounter was 2.64, which is above the WHO standard. The percentage of encounters in which antibiotics and injections were prescribed was 80.20% and 99.2%, which exceeds the upper limit of WHO standard range (20-26.8%) and (13.4-24.1%), respectively. All medications were prescribed using generic names and were included in Eka Kotebe General Hospital's essential drug list, which is in line with WHO standards.

CONCLUSION: The degree of polypharmacy and the prescription practices for antibiotics and injections at Eka Kotebe General Hospital deviated from the World Health Organization's standards. As a result, there is a need to enhance medical education programs to rationalize the prescription of antibiotics and injection use.

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