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Am J Gastroenterol. 2000 Nov;95(11):3118-22.

Overuse of acid-suppressive therapy in hospitalized patients.

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Department of Medicine, Hospital of Saint Raphael, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA.



The aims of this study were 1) to determine the frequency of use and indications for prescription of acid-suppressive medications in hospitalized patients, and 2) to determine whether patients who are prescribed these medications for stress ulcer prophylaxis are prescribed them on hospital discharge.


The use of acid-suppressive medications (histamine-2 receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, and barriers--specifically, famotidine, omeprazole, and sucralfate) was assessed in 226 patients admitted consecutively to a general medical nursing unit of an urban, community, teaching hospital. Chart review was undertaken to determine the type of medication used, timing of prescription, and indication for use.


Of hospitalized patients, 54% were receiving acid-suppressive therapy. Histamine-2 receptor antagonists were used most frequently (62%). In all, 65% of prescriptions were not indicated as determined by consensus review. Among patients put on acid-suppressive therapy for ulcer prophylaxis, 55% were discharged on the therapy.


There is significant overuse of acid-suppressive therapy in hospitalized patients. The problem of placing low-risk patients on ulcer prophylaxis unnecessarily is compounded by discharging these patients with the medication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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