Drug prescribing patterns for the management of inpatients and outpatients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were investigated. The population of patients resembled published epidemiological descriptions of RA patients with respect to age and sex distribution. Multiple drug therapy was common in the treatment of both hospitalised and clinic patients. 90% of all patients with RA received non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy, indomethacin and naproxen being the two most frequently prescribed NSAIDs for both in- and outpatients. The vast majority of inpatients (85%) and outpatients (79%) received slow-acting antirheumatic drug (SAARD) treatment. 13% of hospitalised patients received H2-antagonist drugs in addition to their NSAIDs. A high proportion of inpatients (46%) received oral corticosteroids in the management of their rheumatoid arthritis, while only 15% of clinic patients were prescribed corticosteroids.
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