Appropriateness of treatment recommendations for PPI in hospital discharge letters

2010 | journal article; research paper. A publication of Göttingen

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​Appropriateness of treatment recommendations for PPI in hospital discharge letters​
Ahrens, D.; Chenot, J.-F.; Behrens, G.; Grimmsmann, T. & Kochen, M. M. ​ (2010) 
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology66(12) pp. 1265​-1271​.​ DOI: 

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Ahrens, Dirk; Chenot, Jean-Francois; Behrens, Gesa; Grimmsmann, Thomas; Kochen, Michael M. 
The reasons for the dramatic increase in proton pump inhibitors (PPI) prescriptions remain unclear and cannot be explained solely by increased morbidity, new indications or a decrease in alternative medication. Inappropriate use and discharge recommendations in hospitals are considered to be possible explanations. As the quality of PPI recommendations in hospital discharge letters in Germany has not been investigated to date, we have studied the appropriateness of these referrals. Hospital discharge letters with recommendations for PPI medication from 35 primary care practices in the county of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (MV; North-east Germany) were collected and analysed, and the appropriateness of the PPI indication was rated. No information justifying the recommendation for continuous PPI medication could be identified in 54.5% of the discharge letters; in 12.7%, the indication was uncertain, and in 32.7%, we found an evidence-based indication for PPI medication. The most common indication for adequate PPI use was nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-prophylaxis in high-risk patients. Inadequate recommendations for PPIs in discharge letters are frequent. This may lead to a continuation of this therapy in primary care, thereby unnecessarily increasing polypharmacy and the risk of adverse events as well as burdening the public health budget. Hospitals should therefore critically review recommendations for PPI medication and the dosage thereof in their discharge letters and clearly document the reason for PPI use and the need for continuous prescription in primary care.
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European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 
Institut für Allgemeinmedizin 
German Ministry for Education and Science (BMBF) [01GK0711]



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