Dispensing patterns of medicines prescribed by Australian dentists from 2006 to 2018 – a pharmacoepidemiological study

Joon Soo Park, Amy T. Page, Estie Kruger, Marc Tennant

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11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Dentists are independent prescribers that can prescribe subsidised medicines under the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It is hypothesised that increased dental prescribing can partly be accounted for by the growth in both the Australian population and the number of practising dentists. This pharmacoepidemiological study aims to determine the dispensing patterns of medications amongst dentists and to identify trends over time. Materials and methods: Data on dental medications under PBS from 2006 to 2018 were accessed. All the dentist-prescribed concessional medicines dispensed at pharmacies in 2018 were included for time trend analysis. Cumulative dispensing counts and defined daily dose (DDD) per 1,000 concessional population days (DPD) were analysed for time trend analysis. Results: Out of the 56 medications within the dental PBS schedule, the top 20 medicines had a total cumulative dispensing count of 5,058,556, which accounts for 97.4% of the total dispensing count. Eleven out of 20 medicines were antibiotics. Overall, increases were observed for seven out of 20 medicines (amoxicillin + clavulanic acid, clindamycin, ibuprofen, diazepam, oxycodone, tramadol, naproxen) in both dispensing count and trend, as expressed per DPD. Conclusion: This study highlights the increasing dispensing pattern and trends of dentist-prescribed antibiotics, opioids and benzodiazepines. Further investigation may be required to determine whether the medicine use is appropriate. In the future, this could provide new educational opportunities on the appropriate use of medicines for dentists.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Dental Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • analgesics
  • antibiotics
  • benzodiazepines
  • Dentistry
  • prescription

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