Letters

Long term acid suppressing treatment Survey shows variation in practice

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6938.1238 (Published 07 May 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1238
  1. M McCullagh,
  2. C Brown,
  3. D Bell,
  4. K Powell
  1. Orchard Street Health Centre, Ipswich IP4 2PU
  2. Ivry Street Medical Practice, Ipswich Department of Gastroenterology, Ipswich Hospital, Ipswich 1P4 5PD
  3. Bridgnorth Medical Practices, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 4BU.

    EDITOR, - Stephen D Ryder and colleagues noted the lack of data on the long term use of acid suppressing drugs in general practice.1 A recent survey of prescribing in five Ipswich general practices (36 000 patients) over a year addressed this issue. In all, 284 (0.78% of the population) patients had been receiving acid suppressing drugs for six months or more; 590 patients (1.64%) had received at least one prescription.

    The most common reason for long term treatment was oesophageal disease (94 patients). Duodenal ulcers and “dyspepsia” (patients lacking a definitive diagnosis) accounted for 66 patients each. Gastric ulcer was uncommon, as in Harlow, occurring in 22 patients.

    Although the percentages of the total population in Harlow and Ipswich maintained on these drugs are similar (0.82% and …

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