Dispensing patterns of emergency medicines prescribed by Australian dentists from 1992 to 2018 - a pharmacoepidemiology study.Int Dent J. 2020 Aug; 70(4):254-258.ID
As the population ages, dentists are likely to encounter medical emergencies due to metabolic factors and polypharmacy. To date, there have been no documented studies in Australia that have analysed the prescription rate of Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)-funded emergency medicines for dentists. Therefore, this pharmacoepidemiology study aims to describe the dispensing patterns of emergency medicines as prescribed by dental practitioners, related to medicines covered by the Australian PBS system.
Data on dental medications used for emergencies, under the PBS, from 1992 to 2018, were accessed. Cumulative dispensing counts were calculated. Data on medications that were not utilised were also collected in the form of the crude cumulative count.
Out of the 56 medications on the dental PBS schedule, eight were utilised for medical emergencies, with a total of 432 prescriptions on a national level, over 27 years. The commonly utilised lifesaving medicines of adrenaline, glucagon, as well as glyceryl trinitrate, had a total prescription count of 147, 88 and 27 respectively. Medicines used for opiate overdose; naloxone, had a total prescription count of one. Only one medicine (benztropine injection) for medical emergencies had a prescription count of 0.
This study highlights the dispensing patterns of medicines prescribed by dentists for emergency scenarios. Although this study did not assess the appropriateness of use of the emergency medicines, further investigation may be required to ensure the future safety of patients when encountering emergency scenarios.