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ACG: Patients Often Underreport NSAID Usage

Second study finds that proton pump inhibitors reduce bleeding, costs in long-term NSAID users

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients may underreport their usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) during routine office visits, and older patients on long-term NSAID therapy may reduce their risk of gastrointestinal bleeding when co-prescribed a proton pump inhibitor, according to research presented this week at the 72nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology, in Philadelphia.

Raj T Majithia, M.D., of the Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, and colleagues surveyed 100 patients and found that 18 percent of them were using a NSAID that they did not report to the nursing staff. Among the reasons: never being asked about the specific medication (14 percent), not considering the medication important enough to list (22 percent), and not being prescribed the medication by their doctor (30 percent).

Neena S Abraham, M.D., of the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Administration Medical Center in Houston, Texas, and colleagues studied the medical records of 481,495 veterans and identified 3,205 cases of gastrointestinal bleeding. Among patients who experienced bleeding, those prescribed a proton pump inhibitor were significantly less likely to be hospitalized (Odds Ratio=0.39) and also incurred significantly lower total medical costs than those not prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (median $522 versus $1,268.91).

"While there are costs to treat patients on NSAIDs prophylactically with proton pump inhibitors, these findings suggest that reduced hospitalization costs offset higher pharmacy costs," Abraham said in a prepared statement.

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