A study of patients in the Netherlands showed just 40 per cent of patients prescribed NSAIDs and at risk of upper-gastrointestinal (UGI) problems were given treatment to protect against side-effects of the drug class.
Authors said the study highlighted the need to assess patient risk of UGI problems when prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDs increase the risk of UGI toxicity, which can lead to complications such as peptic ulcers and UGI haemorrhage.
The team at Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam analysed drug regimens for 50,126 NSAID users aged 50 years or over.
Correct prescription was identified as NSAID treatment with a preventive strategy for UGI problems if the patient had one or more risk factor.
- Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2010; 31: 1218-28