Background: Study of prescribing pattern is a potential tool in ascertaining the role of drugs in society and it has to be carried out at any hospital periodically. Objective: The study is aimed to study the prescribing pattern of anticancer drugs in medical oncology department of a tertiary care hospital, Tamilnadu. Materials and Methods: Each prescription was studied for the patient’s demographic details, name of the drug, dose, dosage form, frequency, duration etc. Commonly used anticancer drugs and various types of cancer were noted and the percentage of drugs prescribed from national essential drug list was assessed. Results: The study revealed that majority of cancer cases was evident in the age groups between 55 to 65 years. Out of 328 patients, 179 were female and 149 were male patients. Breast cancer was found to be most prevalent among females followed by ovary and stomach cancer. In male, lung cancer was more common followed by stomach. The majority of drugs prescribed were alkylating agents followed by antimetabolites, plant derivatives, cytotoxic antibiotics and glucocorticoids. Conclusion: The utilization of anticancer drugs in this hospital was found to be rational and more than 70% of drugs were prescribed from the National essential drug list. Assessment of pattern of prescribing should be conducted periodically to minimize the untoward effects at least to some extent.
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