Coprescribing of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cytoprotective and antiulcer drugs in Nova Scotia's senior population

Clin Ther. 1995 Nov-Dec;17(6):1159-73. doi: 10.1016/0149-2918(95)80095-6.


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently prescribed for the elderly and are commonly prescribed with cytoprotective or antiulcer drugs to prevent or treat gastrointestinal side effects. The objective of this study was to examine the utilization and drug costs of NSAIDs, and to examine coprescription of cytoprotective and antiulcer drugs with NSAIDs in the Nova Scotia population aged 65 years and older. The study used data from the Nova Scotia Seniors Pharmacare program database, which contains data on claims for all filled prescriptions to persons 65 years of age and older. We examined claims for the period April 1, 1993, to March 31, 1994. Aspirin accounted for the largest percentage of the total days supply of NSAIDs (25.2%), followed by diclofenac (18.8%) and naproxen (12.9%). Diclofenac accounted for the largest share of expenditures for NSAIDs (27.6%). Overall, 17.1% of the total days supply of NSAIDs were coprescribed with a cytoprotective or antiulcer drug. Histamine2 blockers accounted for most coprescribed days supply (83.6%) followed by sucralfate (8.1%), misoprostol (4.5%), and omeprazole (2.3%). The appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of these coprescriptions must be examined.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / economics*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / economics*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / economics*
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nova Scotia


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists