Medication use among inflammatory bowel disease patients: excessive consumption of antidepressants and analgesics

Scand J Gastroenterol. 2013 Jan;48(1):42-50. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2012.743584. Epub 2012 Nov 19.


Objective: Little is known about differences in the use of medications between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients and the general population. The aims of this study were to observe those differences and to discuss reasons for them. The relation between medication use and HRQoL of IBD patients was examined.

Material and methods: The use of prescribed medication of 2831 IBD patients and 5662 control subjects were scrutinized and compared by utilizing a national reimbursement register. Annual costs and number of defined daily doses (DDD) of medications were calculated. The relationship between medications and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of IBD patients was examined by using a postal questionnaire including a generic (15D) and a disease-specific (IBDQ) HRQoL tool. The questionnaire also included demographic questions and questions about IBD patients' use of biological medications.

Results: Use of antidepressants (OR: 1.44, 95% CI: 1.28-1.61), anxiolytics (OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.31-1.78), oral bisphosphonates (OR: 6.08, 95% CI: 4.56-8.11), cardiovascular medications (OR: 1.38, 95% CI: 1.24-1.54), antibiotics (OR: 4.01, 95% CI: 3.57-4.51), proton pump inhibitors (OR: 3.90, 95% CI: 3.48-4.36), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics (OR: 1.17, 95% CI: 1.07-1.28) was significantly more common in IBD than among the controls. Those who used antidepressants, anxiolytics, or analgesics had significantly impaired HRQoL (p < 0.001).

Conclusions: IBD patients and general population differ in terms of their medicine use in many respects, and especially use of analgesics and antidepressants is more common among IBD patients. Use of antidepressants, anxiolytics, and analgesics was related to impaired HRQoL.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / psychology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Young Adult


  • Analgesics
  • Antidepressive Agents