No conflict of interest was declared.
Article first published online: 20 JUL 2004
Published in 2004 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 257–266, April 2005
How to Cite
Paulose-Ram, R., Hirsch, R., Dillon, C. and Gu, Q. (2005), Frequent monthly use of selected non-prescription and prescription non-narcotic analgesics among U.S. adults. Pharmacoepidem. Drug Safe., 14: 257–266. doi: 10.1002/pds.983
This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A.
- Issue published online: 22 MAR 2005
- Article first published online: 20 JUL 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 APR 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 17 NOV 2003
- Manuscript Received: 15 AUG 2003
- drug utilization;
Analgesics offer many benefits, however, chronic, long-term use may pose risks of adverse drug events. The objective of this study was to estimate frequent monthly non-narcotic analgesic use among U.S. adults, identifying socio-demographic trends and potentially at-risk groups.
Analysis of adult medication use data from the 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey household interview (n = 4880).
Some 20% of U.S. adults used non-prescription or prescription non-narcotic analgesics on a frequent basis, that is nearly every day for a month, at some point during their lifetime. Also, 14% of U.S. adults were currently using analgesics frequently. Aspirin was most commonly used (8%), followed by non-aspirin non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NANSAID, 3%) and acetaminophen (3%). Three-quarters of aspirin, 46% of NANSAID and 63% of acetaminophen users were long-term frequent monthly users (1+ years). Seven percent of frequent monthly analgesic users reported using two or more analgesics nearly every day during the month. Frequent analgesic use was most common among older adults and non-Hispanic whites with no differences by gender or education. Use patterns, however, varied by analgesic subgroups.
Frequent monthly non-narcotic analgesic use, especially of over-the-counter analgesics, is widely prevalent among U.S. adults. Health-care providers should heighten their awareness of this trend, and routinely monitor both non-prescription and prescription analgesic use in their patients to prevent adverse drug effects and inappropriate use. Published in 2004 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.