Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
LEITE, Silvana Nair; VIEIRA, Mônica and VEBER, Ana Paula. Drug utilization studies: a synthesis of articles published in Brazil and Latin America. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, suppl., pp.793-802. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232008000700029.
With the advancements in pharmacotherapy, medicaments turned into important elements and powerful tools in the recovery and maintenance of health and quality of life. However, there are risks associated with their use that can be minimized by investing in drug utilization studies. The objective of this study is to analyze publications in the field of drug utilization with regard to the kinds of results obtained and their contribution to therapeutic interventions. Twenty seven studies on drug utilization selected from the Scielo and Lilacs bases were analyzed as refers to their objectives, kind of study, selected population and sample, methods used and most relevant results. The results of the analyzed papers were discussed according to their analytic categories, prevalence of medicine consumption, factors related to the use of medicines, self-medication, the organization of the health services, perception of the medicament and adherence to therapy. In most cases, the suggestions of the authors were limited to the need of informing the patient. It is concluded that the information constructed by the drug utilization studies could be the beginning of the desired change in the professional practices.
Keywords : Drug utilization studies; Pharmacoepidemiology; Rational use of drugs.