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Topical steroids: Awareness and misuse among patients, pharmacists and general medical practitioner

 Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Pragya Ashok Nair,
Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad - 388 325, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_84_18

PMID: 30971536

Aims and Objectives: (1) To determine the level of awareness among patients, pharmacists and general practitioners about commonly available topical steroids and its combinations.(2) To determine the source of recommendation/prescription of topical steroids and its combination creams.(3) To know and create awareness about the side effects of topical steroids in all the study groups. Methods: This was a prospective questionnaire-based study where three study groups, namely patients, pharmacists and general practitioners, were included. This study was approved by the institutional ethics committee. after ethical clearance. The patients who used topical steroids for dermatoses where it is an absolute contraindication, as well as those who developed side effects, were included in the study. ThoroughComplete cutaneous examination was done specifically to detect the side effects of steroids. Seminars were conducted and questionnaires were given to both the pharmacists and general practitioners of nearby areas. The questionnaire consisted of questions regarding their prescription and dispensing practices of topical steroids and its combinations. Results: Out of 95 patients seen, the most commonly used steroid molecule was clobetasol propionate 0.05% in 44 (46.3%) patients, the common source of recommendation was general practitioners in 36 (37.8%), the common indication was superficial dermatophytosis in 85 (89%) and the most common adverse effect was recurrence/increase in the extent of the infection in 72 (75.78%) patients. Out of total 44 general practitioners enrolled in the study, 22 (50%) were qualified allopathic medical practitioners and22 (50%) were homeopathic/ayurvedic doctors. Superficial dermatophytosis [19 (43.18%)] was the common dermatosis seen by them. While 29 (65.90%) preferred prescribing topical steroids or its combination, rest of them preferred plain steroid creams. Out of 179 pharmacists, 74 (41.34%) did not have appropriate knowledge of topical steroids, 35 (19.55%) were not aware that steroids are isschedule “H” drugs. Commonest molecule sold over the counterwas clobetasol propionate 0.05% by 74 (41.89%). The limitations of our study were small study group and short duration. Conclusion: As dermatologists, it is our responsibility, to correctly educate the society, particularly the non-dermatologist medical fraternity, about ethical and rational use of topical steroids.

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Online since 15th March '04
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