Pharmacist intervention reduces gastropathy risk in patients using NSAIDs

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Abstract

Objective

To establish a detection and intervention strategy in order to reduce the number of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) users at risk of gastropathy from receiving either inadequate or no gastroprotection.

Setting

Community Pharmacies in Valencia, Spain.

Method

Prospective longitudinal intervention study without control group carried out by 79 Community Pharmacies. Patients over 18 who asked for any systemic NSAID were interviewed according to standard procedure. Pharmacist intervention was carried out when a patient at risk of serious NSAID-induced gastrointestinal complications due to inadequate or no gastric protection was identified. The doctor responsible was informed in order to then be able to assess the need to prescribe gastroprotection or change it if inadequate. In the case of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, pharmacist intervention mainly involved replacing NSAIDs for safer medications.

Main outcome measure

Firstly, the number of patients who had no prescribed gastroprotection or inadequate gastroprotection was determined. Pharmacist intervention then brought about changes in pharmacotherapy in this situation.

Results

Of the 6,965 patients who asked for NSAIDs during the study period, 3,054 (43.9%) presented NSAID gastropathy risk factors. 35.6% of the latter (1,089) were not prescribed gastroprotection or were prescribed inadequate gastroprotection. Pharmacist intervention was carried out in 1,075 of these cases. On 391 occasions such risk situations were reported to doctors, who accepted pharmacist intervention on 309 occasions (79.0%) and then either prescribed gastroprotection (77% of cases); changed it (13.9%); withdrew the NSAID (5.8%) or substituted it (3.2%). 235 Pharmacist interventions took place when dispensing OTC NSAIDs.

Conclusion

Our strategy allowed us to identify a large number of patients who asked for NSAIDs in Community Pharmacies and who were at risk of NSAID gastropathy, as they received either inadequate gastroprotection or no gastroprotection whatsoever. Moreover, the pharmacist intervention carried out has reduced the number of these risk situations.

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