European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 66, Issue 8, pp 823–829 | Cite as

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: use and co-treatment with potentially interacting medications in the elderly

  • Kathrine F. Vandraas
  • Olav Spigset
  • Milada Mahic
  • Lars SlørdalEmail author
Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription



Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used in the elderly. NSAIDs may cause a series of adverse drug reactions, of which gastrointestinal, renovascular/cardiovascular and bleeding complications are of particular concern. Concomitant use of several other drugs may further increase the risk of these adverse effects.


To examine the extent of chronic use of NSAIDs and co-prescription of drugs which may seriously interact with NSAIDs in elderly subjects, by using data from the Norwegian Prescription Database.


A total of 7.3% of all individuals (71,681/984,457) over 60 years of age filled at least one prescription for reimbursed NSAIDs during the 1-year study period (2006). Co-prescription of medications which may interact with NSAIDs was prevalent for drugs used for hypertension and/or heart failure (59.5%), antithrombotic drugs (35.1%), systemic glucocorticoids (12.9%) and SSRI antidepressants (8.3%). As many as 4.8 and 3.8% of NSAID users were co-prescribed warfarin or oral methotrexate respectively.


The frequent co-prescription of medications which may cause detrimental interactions in elderly chronic NSAID users adds to safety concerns regarding this widely prescribed class of drugs.


NSAIDs Elderly Adverse drug reactions Co-prescription Drug interactions 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathrine F. Vandraas
    • 1
  • Olav Spigset
    • 1
    • 2
  • Milada Mahic
    • 3
  • Lars Slørdal
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s and Women’s HealthNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PharmacologySt. Olav’s University HospitalTrondheimNorway
  3. 3.Department of PharmacoepidemiologyNorwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway

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