OBJECTIVES: To describe NSAID utilization for musculoskeletal conditions in a large cohort of Italian elderly with cerebro/cardiovascular disease, a population in which NSAIDs should be generally avoided due to the prothrombotic potential.
METHODS: Administrative data from five Italian geographic areas were analyzed. Patients aged ≥ 65 with a cerebro/cardiovascular event recorded between 2008 and 2011 (cohort entry) were selected. Prescription NSAIDs reimbursed for musculoskeletal conditions and dispensed during 1 year follow-up were retrieved to describe (i) prevalence of use, (ii) average amount of defined daily doses of NSAIDs claimed by users per day of follow-up, and (iii) distribution of the received daily dose (RDD) among patients with ≥ 2 dispensings. Among new users, i.e., patients without NSAID dispensings during 2 years before cohort entry, the first dispensed NSAID molecule was observed.
RESULTS: Overall, 511,989 patients were selected. Across the five geographic areas, prevalence of use ranged from 48 to 21% and average consumption ranged between 30 and 67 DDD/1000 users/day. Around 10% of patients in the overall cohort had a RDD > 1. Nimesulide (9.6%) and diclofenac (7.5%) had the highest prevalence of use. The most consumed NSAIDs were nimesulide and coxibs with 10.6 and 7.5 DDD/1000 users/day, respectively. Among new users recruited in 2011, 30% had diclofenac or a coxibs as the first prescription.
CONCLUSIONS: NSAID use was common in the study cohort, particularly in central-southern areas. In contrast with current recommendations, coxibs and diclofenac were among the most prescribed active principles, even in new users. Interventions to promote appropriateness of use are warranted.
- Aged, 80 and over
- Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/therapeutic use
- Cardiovascular Diseases/drug therapy
- Drug Utilization/statistics & numerical data
- Musculoskeletal Diseases/drug therapy