Patient characteristics among users of analgesic over-the-counter aspirin in a Danish pharmacy setting
Background Use of over-the-counter (OTC) high-dose acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is a risk factor for experiencing gastric bleeding. However, more detailed knowledge on the characteristics of users of OTC ASA is needed. Objective To characterise users of OTC high-dose ASA in a Danish pharmacy setting. Method We conducted an interview based survey among users of OTC high-dose ASA. Questions were asked regarding: (1) demographic characteristics; (2) use patterns; (3) knowledge about adverse events; (4) risk factors for experiencing gastric bleeding; (5) reasons for choosing an ASA-containing medicine; and (6) whether their GP was informed on their use of high-dose ASA. Results One-hundred-seventeen interviews were completed. Nineteen percent and 37 % used high-dose ASA on a daily or weekly basis respectively. Sixty-eighth percent found high-dose ASA to be more effective than other analgesics. Fourty-seven percent had one or more risk factors for experiencing ulcer bleeding, most commonly age >60 years (32 %) and previous peptic ulcer (9 %). The most well-known adverse events were abdominal pain (32 %) and peptic ulcer (26 %). The most common source of information was friends and family (32 %). Conclusion A large proportion of users of high-dose ASA have risk factors for experiencing gastric bleeding. Health-care professionals needs to provide more information on potential adverse events.
KeywordsAspirin Denmark Drug toxicity Gastric ulcer Nonprescription drugs Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents
The authors wish to thank the pharmacists and assistant pharmacists at the participating pharmacies for their aid in recruiting interview subjects for the study. Tora Hammar is acknowledged for valuable comments on the manuscript.
No specific funding was obtained for this study.
Conflicts of interest
The authors have no relevant conflicts, financial or otherwise, to declare.
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