Background: The association between coxib or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use with gastrointestinal symptoms and drug prescriptions in ambulatory elderly patients is not well defined. Aim: To evaluate the association between non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug NSAID and coxib use with gastrointestinal symptoms and therapies in elderly subjects managed by their general practitioner. Materials: The study was carried out by 133 general practitioners in Italy. By using a structured interview, sex, age, physical function, current medications, new drug prescriptions and upper gastrointestinal symptoms were registered from all elderly subjects who were referred to their general practitioners during a 2-week period. The numbers of hospitalizations, gastrointestinal bleeding events and gastrointestinal diagnostic procedures occurring during the last 6-month period were recorded. Results: Included in this study were 5515 elderly subjects. The overall prevalence of drug use was 92%. Musculo-skeletal drugs were taken by 15% of patients: NSAIDs were taken by 6%, and coxibs by 3% of patients. A significantly higher prevalence of upper gastrointestinal symptoms was observed in elderly NSAID users compared with coxib users and non-users of musculo-skeletal drugs (44% vs. 33% vs. 32% respectively, P = 0.001). The prescriptions of drugs for acid-related disorders were significantly higher in patients who were concomitantly taking NSAID rather than coxibs (13% vs. 6%, P <0.01). The prescriptions of drugs for acid-related disorders were significantly associated with the presence of upper gastrointestinal symptoms (OR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.6-1.9), previous gastrointestinal disorders (OR = 1.1, 95% CI = 1.0-1.3) and NSAID use (OR = 1.5, 95% CI = 1.0-2.2). but no coxib use. Conclusion: In this elderly population, upper gastrointestinal symptoms and prescriptions for gastroenterological drugs were higher in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug users than coxib users and non-users of musculoskeletal drugs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)