Concomitant prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antacids in the outpatient setting of a medical center in Taiwan: a prescription database study
Objective: Although antacids were ineffective in preventing serious gastrointestinal complications caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), many physicians in Taiwan still prescribe antacids concomitantly with NSAIDs. A survey of an outpatient prescription database was performed to measure the extent of such a combination and to explore its associated factors. Methods: One month of the outpatient prescription data in the polyclinic of a medical center in Taiwan served to estimate the frequency of concomitant antacid prescription with NSAIDs. The age of patients, duration of NSAID prescriptions, concomitant prescription of corticosteroid or ulcer-healing drugs, and inter-departmental variations were compared between the NSAID prescriptions with and without antacids. Results: Antacids were present in 87.3% of prescriptions with NSAIDs but only in 34.4% of prescriptions without NSAIDs (P<0.001). The prescription of antacids was significantly associated with the prescription of NSAIDs. The age of patients and duration of NSAID prescriptions did not influence the co-prescription of NSAIDs and antacids. Significant inter-departmental variations were noted in which the surgeons and orthopedic doctors tended to co-prescribe antacids with NSAIDs more often than the internists. Conclusion: The physicians in Taiwan tended to prescribe NSAIDs together with antacids. The rationality of this co-prescription deserves further investigation.
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