Practitioners routinely misuse acid suppression medications on general medical floors and inappropriately continue the drug at discharge.
Dr Zink and colleagues retrospectively studied the appropriateness of acid suppression use on the general medical floors.
The research team also characterized the patient population discharged on unnecessary acid suppression and evaluated whether patients discharged on unnecessary acid suppression continue the medicine long term.
The team retrospectively reviewed charts of general medical patients admitted to an in-patient teaching service over 6 consecutive months.
| At 6 months of follow-up, 50% of patients remained inappropriately on acid suppression therapy|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
The researchers reported that about 60% of patients lacked an indication for initiation of acid suppression and 34% of these patients were discharged on the medicine.
The investigators found that the only independent predictor of continuation of acid suppression at discharge was longer length of stay.
After using multivariate analysis, the researchers did not identify a characteristic distinguishing those patients discharged inappropriately on acid suppression.
At 3 and 6 months of follow-up, 80% and 50% of patients, respectively, remained on acid suppression therapy without an appropriate indication.
Dr Zink’s team concludes, “Our data verifies that practitioners routinely start general medical in-patients on acid suppression without an appropriate indication.”
“Many of these prescriptions are continued at discharge for no apparent reason, leading to their long-term misuse.”