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Prescription of proton pump inhibitors

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:534

Ulcer healing drugs affect gastroscopy results

  1. Ian Ross, Consultant gastroenterologist (,
  2. June Edgehill, Sister in charge, endoscopy unit
  1. Newark Hospital, Newark, Nottinghamshire NG24 4DE
  2. Department of Primary Care and General Practice, Medical School, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
  3. Institute of Health Sciences, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF

    EDITOR—Bashford et al report a 10-fold rise in prescriptions for proton pump inhibitors between 1991 and 1995, mainly because of increased unlicensed use for non-ulcer dyspepsia.1 Diagnosis of non-ulcer dyspepsia will be increased by the frequent use of ulcer healing drugs before referral for gastroscopy because these drugs reduce diagnostic yield.2

    We audited 270 dyspeptic patients referred for gastroscopy to determine the ideal time to stop ulcer healing drugs before investigation. In all, 154 (57%) patients had taken ulcer healing drugs in the 3 months before gastroscopy; 77 of these received proton pump inhibitors. When we compared patients treated with ulcer healing drugs with those who had not taken these drugs in the 3 months before gastroscopy, treated subjects had a …

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