Time-trends in gastroprotection with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Jun;31(11):1218-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04281.x. Epub 2010 Mar 2.


Background: Preventive strategies are advocated in patients at risk of upper-gastrointestinal complications associated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Aim: To examine time-trends in preventive strategies.

Methods: In a study population comprising 50 126 NSAID users > or =50 years from the Integrated Primary Care Information database, we considered two preventive strategies: co-prescription of gastroprotective agents and prescription of a cyclooxygenase-2-selective inhibitor. In patients with > or =1 risk factor (history of upper-gastrointestinal bleeding/ulceration, age >65 years, use of anticoagulants, aspirin, or corticosteroids), correct prescription was defined as the presence of a preventive strategy and under-prescription as the absence of one. In patients with no risk factors, correct prescription was defined as the lack of a preventive strategy, and over-prescription as the presence of one.

Results: Correct prescription rose from 6.9% in 1996 to 39.4% in 2006 (P < 0.01) in high-risk NSAID users. Under-prescription fell from 93.1% to 59.9% (P < 0.01). In the complete cohort, over-prescription rose from 2.9% to 12.3% (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: Under-prescription of preventive strategies has steadily decreased between 1996 and 2006; however, 60% of NSAID users at increased risk of NSAID complications still do not receive adequate protection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / chemically induced
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Upper Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors