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Use of antacids, alginates and proton pump inhibitors: a survey of the general Danish population using an internet panel

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OBJECTIVE: Both over-the-counter medicine, such as antacids or alginates, and proton pump inhibitors (PPI) are used for treating acid-related disorders. We sought to describe what characterizes users of these different medicines, including long-term PPI users within the general population.

METHOD: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in an internet panel representative of the Danish adult population in 2012. Data queried included antacid/alginate and PPI use, reason for therapy, co-medication, and presence of upper gastrointestinal symptoms. Long-term PPI use was defined as using PPI ≥1/3 of the last year (∼120 days). Risk of long-term PPI use was estimated by logistic regression.

RESULTS: A total of 18,223 people received the questionnaire, of which 52% (9390) responded. Antacid/alginate use was reported by 23%; 16% reported use of only antacid/alginate. PPI use was reported by 13.6%; 6.2% were defined as long-term PPI users. Antacid/alginate users were younger, used less co-medication, had most often started on therapy because of reflux symptoms, and had less often ongoing symptoms. Risk of long-term PPI use appeared to be increased in male gender, by renewing PPI prescription by phone/e-mail, using co-medication, and having started on PPI for several reasons. Combination of antacid/alginate and PPI was reported by approximately 50% of those on therapy with weekly or daily symptoms.

CONCLUSION: 23% of Danish adults were using antacids or alginates and 14% were using PPI, of which one-half were on long-term therapy. Prescription renewal by phone or e-mail and use of other prescription medication were associated with long-term PPI use, indicating a behavioral pattern, in which unnecessary PPI therapy may be maintained.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume49
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1044-50
Number of pages7
ISSN0036-5521
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014

ID: 44916033