Background: This study describes the prevalence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use, and analyses prescribing patterns of NSAIDs and associated gastroprotection.
Methods: The study population consisted of 5650 workers at the General Motors automobile assembly plant in Zaragoza, Spain. NSAID prescription data for 2014 were obtained from the prescription database of Aragon (Spain). NSAID consumption was determined based on the number of defined daily doses purchased per year. Heavy NSAIDs users were identified using Lorenz curves.
Results: NSAID use in the cohort was high (40.7% of workers, 95% CI 39.4⁻41.9). The prescription of proton pump inhibitors increased with age. Gastrointestinal protection was lacking in some participants who were being treated with drugs associated with a high risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Heavy NSAID users (defined as those above the 95th percentile of consumption), accounted for 26% of total DDDs, and consumed a greater proportion of coxibs than non-heavy users.
Conclusions: The rate of NSAID consumption in the cohort was high. To reduce the risk of gastrointestinal complications, monitoring and adequate gastroprotection are essential in patients who are prescribed NSAIDs for long periods of time or who are treated concomitantly with drugs that increase the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Keywords: gastrointestinal protection; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; pharmacoepidemiology.