Methods: Data for this retrospective follow-up study were extracted from the PHARMO database. We selected new chronic users of COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs) or traditional NSAIDs (tNSAIDs) between 1st January 2000 and 31st December 2004. GP strategies were defined as: use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI), coxibs or both. GI RF score at index date was based on: history of GI drug use, high dose of NSAIDs, age >60 years, use of corticosteroids/anticoagulants/SSRIs, rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure or diabetes, with each condition accounting for one factor. Switching was assessed among those with ≥ 1 GI RF during the first year of follow-up. Results: Among 58 770 new chronic NSAID users at index date, 80% used tNSAIDs alone, 8% used tNSAID+PPI, 10% used a coxib alone and 2% used coxib+PPI. Mean (SD) number of GI RF among these groups was 1.6 (2.1), 3.1 (1.3), 1.5 (1.5) and 2.8 (1.3), respectively. Among 48 390 patients (82.3%) with a GI RF score of ≥ 1, 20.9% used a GP strategy, this increased with number of GI RFs. Within the first year, 5.3% (n=2067) and 4.8%(n=1 843) of tNSAID users with ≥ 1 GI RF switched to tNSAID+PPI and coxib alone, respectively. Conclusions: Gastroprotection in users of tNSAIDs was inadequate. Over 80% of NSAID users with ≥ 1 GI RF did not receive any gastroprotection, and even when prescribed, a PPI is used only half the time. More research should show if gastroprotection was used for prevention.

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Keywords Adherence, Cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors, Drug utilization, Gastrointestinal, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Pharmacy database
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van der Linden, M.W, Gaugris, S, Kuipers, E.J, van den Bemt, B.J.F, van Herk-Sukel, M.P.P, & Herings, R.M.C. (2009). Gastroprotection among new chronic users of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: A study of utilization and adherence in the Netherlands. Current Medical Research and Opinion, 25(1), 195–204. doi:10.1185/03007990802632915