Patterns of drugs prescribed for dental outpatients in Nigeria: findings and implications

Joseph O. Fadare, Kazeem A. Oshikoya, Obitade S. Obimakinde, Abayomi O. Sijuade, Jide M. Afolayan, Adeyinka A. Adeleke, Brian Godman*, Damilola O. Ojumu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: There are concerns with inappropriate prescribing of medicines among dentists especially antimicrobials. It is more concerning if this increases resistance rates. This study aimed to address this by assessing patterns of drugs prescribed for outpatients attending a hospital dental clinic in Nigeria. The findings will be used to plan future interventions, particularly around antimicrobial prescribing, where there are concerns. Methods and materials: Medical records of patients attending the dental clinic of a leading teaching hospital in Nigeria were evaluated. Patients referred for admission, without a prescription, or prescribed medicines without a documented diagnosis were excluded. Results: Overall, 607 prescriptions were analysed, 314 (51.7%) were for females. Periodontal and gum diseases (414; 68.1%) were the most frequent diagnoses, followed by pulpitis (49; 8.2%), and dentoalveolar abscess (43; 7.1%). A total of 1798 medicines were prescribed for all patients with a mean of 3.0 ± 0.48 medicines per prescription. Antimicrobials (1178; 65.5%) and analgesics (620; 34.5%) were the two drug classes prescribed. Ascorbic acid and vitamin B complex were prescribed for 361 (59.5%) patients. Among antimicrobials, amoxicillin (564; 95.1%) either alone or combined with clavulanic acid was the most frequently prescribed, followed by metronidazole (561; 94.6%). Brand name prescribing was also appreciably higher than WHO recommendations. Conclusion: Polypharmacy, brand name prescriptions, and the frequent prescription of antimicrobials were common practices at the dental clinic of this teaching hospital in Nigeria. We suggest a review of the current standard treatment guidelines in Nigeria to guide dentists on current knowledge- and evidence-based treatment of common oral diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-506
Number of pages11
JournalActa Odontologica Scandinavica
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotics
  • Nigeria
  • dentistry
  • rational prescribing


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