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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2008 Feb;17(2):172-9.

Study of the use of a spironolactone and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor combination: a population-based analysis.

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Service médical des Pays de Loire, 11 rue de Rame F49000 ANGERS, France.



To analyse the conditions of use of the drug combination in outpatients.


The first section consisted of a population-based analysis using computerized records from the French national health insurance system. The study population consisted of adult patients, receiving long-term treatment with spironolactone (SPIR) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACEI). For each patient, the reimbursement of serum potassium and creatinine determinations was searched for in the database during the 6-month period preceding the date of the last dispensation. The second section comprised a written questionnaire on use practises, sent to practitioners who prescribed the drug combination to randomly selected patients. Analysis of the answers to the questionnaire made it necessary to develop a reference system. In the third section, procedure one was repeated at a later stage, following an information campaign, in order to measure its impact.


The exhaustive population under procedure 1 consisted of 3620 patients (71 +/- 11 years). During the 6 months prior to the index date, 51% of patients underwent at least one determination of both serum potassium and serum creatinine. The randomised population under procedure two consisted of 441 patients (70 +/- 13 years) and their 375 practitioners. When compared with the reference system, SPIR-ACEI was used for the recommended indications, at the appropriate SPIR-ACEI dosages, and under minimal monitoring of biological parameters in only 65 patients (15%). After the information campaign, results were disappointing because only 55% of patients underwent the minimal laboratory monitoring.


The use of the drug combination in general practice was mainly inappropriate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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