Background: A wide variation exists in the patterns of pharmacotherapy among patients admitted with cardiovascular diseases. Very few studies have evaluated the potential determinants of drug utilization. Our objective was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and patterns of cardiovascular drug utilization among patients in coronary care unit (CCU) and assess the determinants of cardiovascular drug use among patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, the medical records of CCU patients were reviewed independently by two trained physicians over one year. Patients were analyzed as two groups e those with CAD and without CAD. Multivariate logistic regression was done to identify the determinants of cardiovascular drug utilization in the CAD group. Results: Of 574 patients, 65% were males, 57% were <60 years. The five commonly prescribed drug classes were platelet inhibitors (88.7%), statins (76.3%), ACE-inhibitors/Angiotensin receptor blockers (72%), beta-blockers (58%) and heparin (57%). Poly-pharmacy (>5 drugs) was noticed in 71% of patients. A majority of patients had diagnosis of CAD (72.6%). CAD patients received significantly higher median number of drugs and had longer duration of CCU stay (p < 0.0001). Renal dysfunction for ACE-inhibitors [0.18 (0.09e0.36)], ST-elevation myocardial infarction for calcium channel blockers [0.29 (0.09e0.93)] and brady-arrhythmias for beta-blockers [0.3 (0.2e0.7)] were identified as determinants of decreased drug use in CAD group. Conclusion: Predominance of male gender, age <60 and poly-pharmacy was observed in CCU. Antithrombotics, statins, ACE-inhibitors/Angiotensin receptor blockers and beta-blockers were the most frequently prescribed drugs. Clinical co-morbidities (renal dysfunction, arrhythmias) decreased the utilization of ACE-inhibitors, beta-blockers among CAD patients.
Key words: Cardiovascular,Coronary artery disease,Coronary care unit,Drug utilization.