Reducing co-administration of clopidogrel and proton pump inhibitors in acute coronary syndromes

J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2012 Mar;42(1):21-3. doi: 10.4997/JRCPE.2012.105.


Background: Recent concerns about clopidogrel and proton pump inhibitor (PPI) co-administration in patients following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS) led us to investigate our practice. Guidance recommends that omeprazole and esomeprazole should not be co-administered with clopidogrel as they can decrease its efficacy. Pantoprazole and lansoprazole are safer for use in these cases.

Methods: Patients discharged between August 2008 and July 2009 with a diagnosis of ACS, on both clopidogrel and any PPI, were identified using the pharmacy database. Their notes were retrospectively reviewed, the indication for a PPI was checked and whether an appropriate one had been prescribed was assessed. As a result of our findings a simple algorithm was introduced to set out guidance on appropriate use and junior doctors were informed of the new procedure. We then performed another audit of patients discharged between August 2009 and February 2010 to ensure that the guidelines were being followed.

Results: During the first phase of the audit 43 out of 91 patients (47.5%) received a PPI with clopidogrel. Following our intervention, re-auditing confirmed that clopidogrel and PPI co-administration had decreased significantly to 27 out of 101 patients (26.7%) (p = 0.018).

Conclusions: Through a simple intervention with an algorithm and education of junior doctors we have shown that significant improvement and adherence to guidance can be achieved.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Algorithms
  • Clopidogrel
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Guideline Adherence*
  • Humans
  • Medical Audit
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prescriptions / standards*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Ticlopidine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Ticlopidine / therapeutic use


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Clopidogrel
  • Ticlopidine