PTU-001 Overuse Of Proton Pump Inhibitors and Strategies to Reduce Inappropriate Prescribing

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Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely used but commonly over-prescribed.1 A range of adverse effects are associated with their use, including susceptibility to C. difficile infection, fractures, pneumonia and electrolyte disturbances.2


We investigated the extent and appropriateness of PPI prescribing at a university teaching hospital, and the impact on this of guideline implementation alongside formal teaching of junior doctors. A point-prevalence survey of PPI prescribing for in-patients across medical and surgical specialties was performed. Data collected included PPI prescription, whether this was initiated in hospital or the community, whether an evidenced-based indication was identifiable, and if the prescriber had documented an intended duration for its use. A local guideline was developed in line with current evidence, and national and international guidance. This was circulated to all prescribers by email and the hospital intranet, as well as face-to-face presentation to junior doctors alongside discussion around potential adverse effects. A further point-prevalence survey was undertaken after implementation.


A total of 274 patients were included in the first point-prevalence survey, and 264 in the second cycle. Initially, 52.7% of inpatients were prescribed a PPI; of these, 38.1% were commenced in hospital. An appropriate indication was documented in 34.7% and duration in 8.2%. Following introduction of a guideline and a programme of education, the proportion of inpatients receiving PPI therapy fell to 40.8% (p = 0.008), of which 28.4% were started in hospital (p = 0.08), 38.5% had an appropriate indication recorded, and 4.6% the duration.


PPI prescribing rates among inpatients are high, and frequently not evidenced-based. There is also lack of consideration given to review of therapy and limiting provision to short courses. A combined approach of a focused guideline and educational strategies can reduce inappropriate over prescribing, but had restricted impact on the quality of documentation and specification of duration of therapy.

Disclosure of Interest

None Declared.

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