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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


PASTOR CANO, Josep et al. Gastrointestinal bleeding and potentially inappropriate medication by NSAIDs. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2018, vol.92, e201805020.  Epub May 28, 2018. ISSN 2173-9110.


Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used but they increase the risk of gastrointestinal haemorrage among other adverse effects. The objective of this study was to compare potentially inappropriate medications (PIM) by NSAIDs using the original Beers Criteria, a global reference for evaluating elderly people’s prescriptions, and the Spanish adaptation of the same; and the relation between PIM of NSAIDs and gastrointestinal bleeding.


The study was a retrospective observational study carried out located in a primary care district in the province of de Murcia, south-eastern Spain. The study population (n=7.856) were citizens aged 65 and above, with at least one drug prescribed in a Spanish health district during the study period . We analized illnesses and treatments registered in the primary care’s electronic medical history of patients and hospital admissions, during the 12 month study period (2012). The original Beers Criteria and their Spanish adaptation were used to evaluate PIM of NSAIDs in patients considering the medication globally and also each active substance. Gastrointestinal bleeding events recorded in the data bases studied were evaluated.


Detection of PIM of NSAIDs was 5,6% with the original version and 7,0% (Δ=25,5%; p<0,001) with the adapted one. PIM of NSAIDs was related with an increased incidence of gastrointestinal bleeding without significant differences between PIM exposed and NSAID exposed patients AINE (RR=1,6; IC:0,2-14,5).


The Spanish adaptation of the Beers criteria identified a greater degree of PIM of NSAIDs than the original version, and in both versions the detection of PIM was not related with a significant increase of gastrointestinal bleeding compared to patients exposed to NSAIDs.

Keywords : Beers Criteria; Elderly; NSAID; Inappropriate prescription; Polypharmacy; Primary health care; Pharmacoepidemiology; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage.

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