Navigation Links
Prescription problems for vets on reflux drug

CHICAGO --- U.S. veterans diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are frequently prescribed doses of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as omeprazole (commonly known by brand names such as Prilosec), that are much higher than recommended --- and they are kept on the drug far too long, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

PPIs are among the most widely used drugs in the nation, resulting in more than $11 billion in annual direct health care costs in the U.S. PPI overuse has been documented in previous studies, but this is the first study to examine initial prescriptions given to veterans with a new GERD diagnosis.

"We should always have a reevaluation after an initial prescription and ask, 'Does this patient need to be on this medication?'" said Andrew Gawron, M.D., first author of the study and a fellow in the division of gastroenterology and the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Proton pump inhibitors are provided ubiquitously in medicine, and although they provide relief for many patients, optimal prescribing is important to avoid prolonged, unnecessary use and cost."

Sherri LaVela, research assistant professor at Feinberg's Center for Healthcare Studies and a research health scientist at the Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, IL, is Gawron's mentor and the senior author of the study, which was published Feb. 16 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

The researchers evaluated more than 1,600 Veterans at the Hines VA from 2003 to 2009. Here are the major findings, which highlight the potential problems:

  • The majority of patients received more than a three-month initial supply of medication.
  • Almost 25 percent of patients were given high total daily dose prescriptions.
  • Very few patients who started on high dose therapy had reductions in dosing more than two years after their initial prescription.

It is recommended that PPIs be prescribed at the lowest effective dose for four to eight weeks to treat GERD. If symptoms persist after eight weeks, efforts should be made to evaluate other potential causes of symptoms and alternative approaches to therapy. This approach is a top priority in the "Choosing Wisely" campaign initiated last year by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Gastroenterology Association.

"It seems that once these veterans are prescribed a PPI, they are rarely taken off of it," Gawron said. "Two years after their initial prescription, most are still on the drug."

This study highlights the importance of ensuring appropriate use of PPIs in all patients after they are initially prescribed, Gawron said.


Contact: Erin White
Northwestern University

Related medicine news :

1. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
2. Many Who First Misuse Prescription Pills Get Them From Friends, Family: Report
3. 16 years old is peak risk for teens misusing prescription drugs
4. Mental Health Woes Raise Odds for Prescription Painkiller Abuse
5. American Kids Getting Fewer Prescription Drugs: Study
6. More Mental Health Woes in College Kids Who Abuse Prescription Drugs
7. Herpes Treatment Site: Top Reasons to Avoid Prescription HSV Drugs
8. Changes needed for oft-ignored prescription warning labels
9. AFTS Labs Partners With Physicians To Complement NY's Mandated I-STOP Tracking System For Pain Pill Prescriptions: A Recipe For A Safer Community
10. Good mood foods: Some flavors in some foods resemble a prescription mood stabilizer
11. PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs
Post Your Comments:
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... ... has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Fierce Innovation Awards: Healthcare ... IT Healthcare was recognized as a finalist in the category of Digital Solutions ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Lutronic, a leading innovator of aesthetic and ... to the devices for sale in the United States. Clarity is a Superior ... nm Nd:YAG lasers, into a single platform that is easy to own and operate. ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... PYA’s latest white paper, “ PYA ... main “pain point” for merging or aligning healthcare provider organizations—when mergers and other ... This quick-read guidance suggests that failing to recognize the power of an ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... 2015 , ... PartnerTech , a leader in high-tech ... 2008. Gary Bruce, President of PartnerTech North America, currently serves as Director for ... of time in Sweden since joining PartnerTech based in Malmo, Sweden. He has ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... ... December 01, 2015 , ... Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd., maker of ... to date. , The order will be from the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, ... System is an effective solution for children and adults suffering from severe and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/1/2015)... India , December 1, 2015 ... market research report "Immunotherapy Drugs Market by Type of Drug ... Checkpoint Inhibitors), Epidemiology, Regulatory and Pipeline Analysis - Global Forecast ... is poised to reach USD 73,529.2 Million by 2020 from ... from 2015 to 2020. Browse 37 ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... , 1 de diciembre de 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... para cuchillas de precisión, develó hoy un ... identidad de marca. El nuevo logo destaca ... y la ingeniería de productos con cuchillas ... ...
(Date:12/1/2015)... 2015 During the recent 2015 Transcatheter ... Francisco, CA , Medinol Ltd. continued to ... During a satellite symposium, "The BioNIR eDES: The ... Restenosis", a renowned physician panel discussed the key ... Coronary Stent System and the Medinol eDES Coronary ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: