Use of proton pump inhibitors among Danish children: A 16-year register-based nationwide study

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2019 Jun;124(6):704-710. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.13191. Epub 2019 Jan 20.


Objectives: Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are among the most frequently used drugs in the developed countries. In recent years, their use among children and adolescents has been on the increase. Guidelines recommend use for a period no longer than 4-8 weeks. The aim of this study was to describe time trends in prescribing patterns of PPI use among children, with emphasis on persistence to therapy.

Methods: We used the Danish nationwide healthcare registries and identified all Danish children (0-17 years old) who were provided with a filled in PPI prescription between 2000 and 2015. Based on descriptive analyses, we reported trends over time in annual use, prevalent and incident users. Moreover, we evaluated persistence to treatment and doses used over time. Analyses were stratified by age groups (0-4, 5-11 and 12-17 years).

Results: We identified 212 056 filled in PPI prescriptions prescribed to 78 489 children. The total annual use of PPIs among children increased eight times from 2000 to 2015. Omeprazole was most frequently used (60% of all use). The proportion of prevalent users increased from 0.1 in 2000 to 3.1 per 1000 children in 2015, while the rate of new users increased from 1.2 to 8.0 per 1000 child years. In general, persistence to PPIs was low: in the youngest age groups (14%), slightly more children were covered by treatment 12 months after the first prescription compared with the oldest age groups (5%).

Conclusion: The use of PPIs among Danish children has increased substantially during the last 15 years. In general, treatment with PPIs among children was of short duration. Attention should be paid to indications and rationality behind initiation of therapy.

Keywords: persistence; pharmacoepidemiology; prescription registry; prevalence; treatment patterns.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Denmark
  • Drug Utilization / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Omeprazole
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / trends*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Omeprazole