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Current clinical practice for the use of hypnotics to manage primary insomnia in adults in a tertiary hospital in Saudi Arabia: an audit study

Dobia, A., Ryan, K., Grant, D. and BaHammam, A. (2019) Current clinical practice for the use of hypnotics to manage primary insomnia in adults in a tertiary hospital in Saudi Arabia: an audit study. Pharmacy, 7 (1). 15. ISSN 2226-4787

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/pharmacy7010015


Despite the risks associated with hypnotics and their recent increased use in Saudi Arabia, there are no specific national guidelines for using these medicines to treat insomnia nor are there any data on how these medicines are currently prescribed. There is the potential, however, that some physicians might be adhering to the US guidelines. The current audit study was aimed to assess the current practice in treating insomnia with hypnotics in Saudi Arabia, and to evaluate its agreement with the US guidelines. The audit was conducted using data collected between April 2012 and March 2017 at King Fahad Central Hospital (KFCH; Jazan), of patients who were either prescribed benzodiazepines (BZDs) or Z-drugs or diagnosed with insomnia. The audit criteria followed two US guidelines for the management of insomnia in adults. Data included documented diagnosis, use of CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), use of BZDs and Z-drugs including treatment regimen, and whether physicians prescribed anti-histamines for insomnia. The data were analyzed using STATA 14 after transcription to a MS XL file. Of the 504 records reviewed, 379 patients (75%) were prescribed BZDs or Z-drugs; only 182 (48%) of them had clearly documented indications for their use. Three hundred and seven patients (60%) were diagnosed with insomnia; none of them received CBT-I as initial treatment. No patients on long-term use of hypnotics were reviewed by their physicians after they began using the medication. More than 43% of patients were prescribed anti-histamines for insomnia. No records met all (or even six) of the seven criteria. KFCH physicians do not follow US guidelines. Therefore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) should improve its administrative systems including documentation, and instead of using international guidelines that are seldom followed, physicians should be trained in prescribing hypnotics and national guidelines need to be developed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > School of Pharmacy > Pharmacy Practice Research Group
ID Code:81904


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