Pharmacy World & Science

, 32:30 | Cite as

Analysis and detection of dental prescribing errors at Primary Health Care Units in Brazil

  • Juliana M. D. Mendonça
  • Divaldo Pereira LyraJr.Email author
  • Juliana S. Rabelo
  • Jullyana S. Siqueira
  • Blicie J. Balisa-Rocha
  • Fernanda R. E. Gimenes
  • Leonardo R. Bonjardim
Research Article


Aim of study To analyze dental prescribing errors in Aracaju, Brazil, and to suggest feasible improvements for patient safety. Methods A descriptive study was conducted at nine Primary Health Care Units (PHCUs) in the northeast region of Brazil. A convenience sample of 300 dental prescriptions was selected during the period February–May 2007. The World Health Organization (WHO) prescribing criteria were used to measure the quality of the prescriptions. Main outcome measures All medications were prescribed by generic name; 98.3% of prescription information contained abbreviations and 26% of them were classified as having low legibility or as being illegible. The most commonly prescribed medications were diclofenac (35%), both sodium and potassium, and amoxicillin (26%). Conclusions Dental prescribing errors should be considered as a potential area for improvement in the medication management process and patient safety. We suggest that a pharmacist should be available for medication dispensing at all units and that dentists are trained continuously so that medication orders may become more legible and complete. Improving the quality of dental prescriptions will reduce the risks for medication errors and will promote the rational use of pharmacotherapy, and patient safety.


Brazil Dentistry Drug prescriptions Medication errors Patient safety 



The authors acknowledge the valuable comments of Prof. Alfredo Dias Oliveira Filho and Prof. Chiara Ermínia da Rocha.


This study was supported by the CAPES.

Conflicts of interest

There are none.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliana M. D. Mendonça
    • 1
  • Divaldo Pereira LyraJr.
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juliana S. Rabelo
    • 1
  • Jullyana S. Siqueira
    • 1
  • Blicie J. Balisa-Rocha
    • 1
  • Fernanda R. E. Gimenes
    • 1
  • Leonardo R. Bonjardim
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Research and Teaching in Social PharmacyFederal University of Sergipe (LEPFS/UFS)AracajuBrazil

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