Overuse of acid suppressive therapy in hospitalised patients with pulmonary diseases

Respir Med. 2003 Oct;97(10):1143-50. doi: 10.1016/s0954-6111(03)00187-2.


Objectives: Overuse of acid suppressive therapy (AST) has been reported in hospitalised patients, but the use in specific patient categories is unexplored. We assessed the use of and indication for AST and upper endoscopic investigations in hospitalised patients on a pulmonary ward compared with patients on other wards.

Methods: 301 patients were enrolled in the study. 162 were hospitalised on a pulmonary ward with a control group consisting of 139 from both a surgical and general internal medicine ward. Adequate indications for AST were those strongly supported by medical literature.

Results: Among the 301 patients enrolled, 132 (44%) used AST. 78 (59%) had no adequate indication for AST. On the pulmonary ward 79 (49%) patients used AST, compared to only 10 (20%) on the internal medicine ward (P < 0.05). On the pulmonary ward 68% of the patients had no adequate indication for AST, which was more common than inappropriate use of ASTon the control wards (P < 0.05). The most common inadequate indication for AST was peptic ulcer prophylaxis during corticoidsteroid therapy.

Conclusion: In hospitalised patients a significant overuse of AST was observed, particularly among pulmonary patients. More adequate use of AST can contribute to substantial savings for the health-care system.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antacids / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy
  • Health Services Misuse*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications
  • Lung Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors*


  • Antacids
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors