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Prescription pattern of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) among community patients with musculoskeletal and co-morbid conditions: A crosssectional study from an Iraqi province

Anmar Al-Taie
Ali N. Hussein
Zahraa Albasry


Purpose: To determine the pattern of prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) co-prescription with NSAIDs in a sample of patients suffering from musculoskeletal disorders with and without co-morbid cardiovascular (CV) disease conditions in Baghdad Province, Iraq.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted using a structured questionnaire to assess the clinical characteristics of patients that used NSAIDs alone or with PPIs for the treatment of different musculoskeletal disorders with and without co-morbid cardiovascular (CV) disease conditions.
Results: A total of 102 participants were enrolled in the study. More than half of the participants had comorbid disease conditions (53.9 %), particularly hypertension (47.1 %). Nearly a quarter of the participants with CV disease conditions used non-selective NSAIDs (25.5 %). The majority of NSAIDs intake were orally administered for more than one month (79.4 %). Physicians were the major source for patient education about the risk of NSAIDs-associated complications according to 59.6 % of the participants. The majority of participants reported non-adherence to the prescribed PPIs (86.5 %). There was a statistically significant difference between the participants that used NSAIDs alone, and those with PPI co-prescription within the age group of 31 - 60 years (p < 0.0001) and for a duration of more than one month for NSAIDs administration (p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: There is improper use of NSAIDs, particularly the non-selective agents, among patients with co-morbid cardiovascular disease conditions, as well as poor medication adherence and improper co-prescription of PPIs. This requires periodic revision for long-term intake of NSAIDs, while applying more care to high-risk patients regarding co-prescription of NSAIDs with PPIs.

Keywords: Cardiovascular, Co-morbidity, Gastrointestinal complications, NSAIDs, Proton-pump inhibitors