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Prescription audit of NSAIDs and gastroprotective strategy in elderly in primary care

Khalid Ahmed Jassim Al Khaja, Sindhan Veeramuthu, Husain Ahmed Isa, Reginald Paul Sequeira
International Journal of Risk & Safety in Medicine 2017, 29 (1-2): 57-68

BACKGROUND: The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) is deemed a major risk factor for peptic ulcer disease in elderly population that requires concomitant therapy with gastroprotective agents (GPAs).

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the rational prescribing of NSAIDs and GPAs, and extent of adherence to the guideline recommendations in primary care.

METHODS: Nationwide audit of prescriptions issued to elderly patients (≥65 years) with hypertension or diabetic hypertension in primary care.

RESULTS: Among 2090 elderly, 45.9% were on low-dose aspirin, and 13.5% on other NSAIDs. Diclofenac-XR was the most frequently prescribed NSAIDs to three-quarter patients whereas naproxen, the safest NSAID for patients with high cardiovascular (CV) risk, was rarely prescribed. Among those on NSAID, 82.9% were on a scheduled dosing regimen; of these 78.8% received long-term NSAID therapy (3.9±0.9 months). The prescription rate of GPAs was low: 29.2% for aspirin and 33.3% for other NSAIDs. A quarter of the patients on histamine type-2 receptor antagonists received ranitidine at subtherapeutic single-dose for gastroprotection. Approximately half of the patients on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were prescribed supra-therapeutic double-dose regimen: omeprazole and esomeprazole accounted for 63.2% of overall prescribed PPIs.

CONCLUSIONS: The rational choice of NSAIDs and physicians' adherence to gastroprotective measures was suboptimal in primary care. The choice of NSAIDs and gastroprotective strategy in elderly be guided by the CV and gastrointestinal adverse events likelihood due to the NSAIDs and risk profile of patients for such adverse events.


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