Changes in Prescription Patterns of Acid-Suppressant Medications by Belgian Pediatricians: Analysis of the National Database, [1997–2009]

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The aim of this study was to examine the trend in the prescribing of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine 2-receptor antagonists (H2-RAs) for children in Belgium from 1997 to 2009 to encourage discussion regarding appropriate clinical use.


Monthly claim–based data for PPIs and H2-RAs were obtained from the national health insurance database (Pharmanet 1997–2009).


The total monthly volume of all reimbursed antireflux medications, prescribed by Belgian pediatricians, increased 7-fold from 20,782 daily defined doses (DDDs) in January 1997 to 142,912 DDDs in June 2009. During this study period, reimbursed volume of H2-RAs increased from 2575 to 38,996 DDDs and of PPIs from 3472 to 103,926 DDDs per month.


PPI use has increased substantially in children. Its use does not seem to be commensurate with the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease in children. This study encourages clinical discussion regarding well-considered use of these drugs in children.

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