Aspirin has an anti-platelet effect, and is being widely used for the prevention and treatment of thrombosis. Despite the benefits of aspirin in preventing thrombus, however, gastrointestinal complications often occur as an adverse effect and though many studies on the gastrointestinal complications due to high-dose aspirin have been conducted, there have been few studies on gastrointestinal complications due to low-dose aspirin. This paper describes the results of research on gastrointestinal complications due to low-dose aspirin conducted at a health insurance pharmacy.
The prescribing frequencies of low-dose aspirin, antisecretory drugs (H2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors) at the health insurance pharmacy were calculated and then the prescription data was further classified according to concomitant use of low-dose aspirin products with antisecretory drugs, and the odds ratio of concomitant use was estimated. During the period from April, 2003 to March, 2004 the odds ratio of concomitant use of aspirin with antisecretory drugs was 2.07 (95% CI, 1.03-4.14).
In this study, no patient was found to be taking antisecretory drugs concomitantly with aspirin and thus antisecretory drugs were not being used to prevent the gastrointestinal complications of aspirin. Our findings suggest that the risk of the gastrointestinal complications could be increased by taking low-dose aspirin over the long term.