Overuse of PPIs in patients at admission, during treatment, and at discharge in a tertiary Spanish hospital

Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Nov;5(4):288-97. doi: 10.2174/157488410793352067.


Background: The first generic PPI was introduced in Spain in 2001, and since then their prescriptions have increased steadily by about 200%.

Aim: To evaluate the frequency of use and the appropriateness of indications of PPIs in hospitalised patients, and possible factors predicting their use. We also evaluated relevant PPI-drug interactions and serious adverse drug reactions (SADRs).

Methods: This was a cross-sectional, prescription-indication drug-utilisation study in hospitalised patients with follow-up until discharge. Sampling was random and stratified by services, and was calculated to obtain an error in the precision of prescription of ±4% with a 95% confidence interval with maximum variability (50%).

Results: 328 patients were included; 28.65% were prescribed a PPI at admission, 82.62% were prescribed a PPI during hospitalisation, and 54.75% at discharge, with inappropriate indications in 74.47%, 61.25% and 80.24% respectively. The OR of being discharged with PPIs was 3.01(95% CI:2.17-4.18, p=0.000). The inappropriate indication most frequently seen at admission and at discharge was antiplatelet therapy. During hospitalisation it was prophylaxis for stress ulcer in patients at low risk. PPI prescription at admission remained at discharge in 75.90% of cases, 73.02% without an acceptable indication. Being >64 years old, taking >4 drugs, co-medication (NSAIDs, antiaggregation and anticoagulation), certain hospital departments and length of stay >15 days predicted 83.7% of prescriptions at discharge. Four relevant PPI-drug interactions were found, and 2 resulted in SADRs, thus the incidence per 1, 000 patients was 2.66 (Poisson 95% CI:0.62-7.23).

Conclusions: There was a very high frequency of overuse of PPIs in inpatients and outpatients. Hospitalisation did not represent an opportunity for better prescription of PPIs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data
  • Drug Utilization Review*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Spain


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors