, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 321-326

Side-effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: Studies from the tayside medicines monitoring unit

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Abstract

The Tayside Medicines Monitoring Unit (MEMO) database is a record-linkage system prospectively built for the purposes of carrying out pharmacoepidemiological research. MEMO links community dispensed prescribing data with hospitalization morbidity data. MEMO collects data on all dispensed drugs in Tayside. Data on all NSAIDs and ulcer healing drugs (UHDs) are available from 1989 onwards. Using this resource, studies that have been carried out have demonstrated the safety of topically applied NSAIDs, have shown that the risk of upper gastrointestinal complications associated with oral NSAIDs is constant with continuous exposure, and have quantified the attributable risk of NSAIDs for any given combination of risk factors. The rank order of NSAID toxicity in these studies has been similar to those from other recent studies using data from different sources.

MEMO has also examined the associations between NSAID exposure and colorectal cancer, colitis, appendicectomy, cholecystectomy and acute renal failure.

The MEMO record-linkage database is a powerful tool for quantifying the side-effects of NSAIDs. MEMO is currently exploring mechanisms for expanding its capability to the population of Scotland.